In the past five years, sneaker resale marketplaces have become some of the most powerful forces in the footwear industry. And now one of them, StockX — which bills itself as “the stock market of things” — is reportedly close to clinching unicorn status.
According to a report from Re/Code, the company is in “advanced talks” for a funding round that would value it at at least $1 billion. The deal would put the 4-year-old startup ahead of competitors Goat Group, which in February secured a $100 million investment from Foot Locker valuing it at more than $550 million, and Stadium Goods, which in December was acquired by Farfetch for $250 million.
Co-founded by Dan Gilbert and Josh Luber, StockX’s current investors include GV (formerly Google Ventures), Battery Ventures, Karlie Kloss and Steve Aoki. When the company closed its last funding round in September for $44 million, it said it was averaging more than $2 million dollars a day in gross sales and planned to use the additional cash to expand internationally, add and grow distribution centers, and launch in new categories.
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The upcoming funding round is expected to be led by late-stage venture company DST Global, which has also financed e-commerce companies like Wish, JD.com and Farfetch. GGV Capital, which has backed Alibaba, Peloton and Poshmark, is also expected to participate. StockX declined to comment on the funding round.
If it achieves the lofty valuation, it will be a sign that investors aren’t yet cooling on the red-hot resale space, even as some analysts say the meteoric growth in the market seems to be slowing. “No one tracks the sales here, so everything is an estimate. But the big multiples in resale price we have seen appear to be coming down,” Matt Powell, The NPD Group Inc.’s senior sports industry analyst, told FN in February.
In addition to sneakers, StockX carries streetwear, handbags and watches, and with a fresh infusion of capital, it could expand to other categories, hedging its bets in case the appetite for secondhand sneakers subsides. Among the platform’s selling points are its price transparency (it allows buyers and sellers to see transaction records for individual styles) and its authentication process — both of which are a boon to the growing secondary market.
Why Sneaker Resale Is the Hottest M&A Bet of the Moment