Why Foot Locker Is Investing $100 Million in Sneaker Platform GOAT Group

Foot Locker is putting its financial muscle behind the hot sneaker resale market.

The retailer announced today a $100 million strategic investment in GOAT Group, which operates sneaker marketplaces GOAT and Flight Club.

“We are excited to leverage GOAT Group’s technology to further innovate the sneaker-buying experience and utilize their best-in-class online marketplace to help meet the ever-growing global demand for the latest product,” said Richard Johnson, Foot Locker’s chairman and CEO. “Together, Foot Locker and GOAT Group’s shared commitment to trust and authenticity in the sneaker industry will provide consumers with unparalleled experiences and diversified offerings.”

Founded in 2015, GOAT Group has raised $197.6 million, including the Foot Locker investment. A year ago, GOAT — a digital sneaker marketplace that specializes in authenticating hard-to-find kicks — merged with brick-and-mortar sneaker consignment Flight Club and closed a $60 million round of funding from Index Ventures.

“With over 3,000 retail locations, Foot Locker will support our primarily digital presence with physical access points worldwide, bringing more value to our community of buyers and sellers,” said Eddy Lu, co-founder and CEO of GOAT Group. “Having Foot Locker as a strategic partner will also expand our business as we continue to scale our operations both domestically and internationally.”

Along with the investment, Foot Locker said its senior vice president of strategy and store development, Scott Martin, will join GOAT Group’s board of directors.

The move comes less than a month after Foot Locker made a $2 million strategic investment in Pensole Inc., which oversees the Pensole Footwear Design Academy, founded by former Jordan design director D’Wayne Edwards.

Last month, Foot Locker also contributed $3 million toward a Series Seed II investment round in children’s lifestyle brand Super Heroic, and in January 2018, the retailer pumped $15 million in Series A funding into Los Angeles-based women’s luxury activewear maker Carbon38.

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