Sneaker culture is real.
StockX, an online marketplace for buying and selling sneakers and other items, is reportedly “in advanced talks” to raise money in a round that will value the company at at least $1 billion, according to Recode.
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Recode didn’t say how much StockX is raising. But according to StockX’s Crunchbase profile, it’s raised $50 million in its lifetime so far. Most recently, it brought in $44 million last September in a Series B led by GV and Battery Ventures. Other investors include Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff and model Karlie Kloss, among others.
The four-year-old Detroit company has been described as the “Nasdaq of sneakers” because prices for the products that are posted by sellers on its site fluctuate depending on how in demand the particular item is at the time. StockX keeps a percentage of every sale, ranging from between 9.5 to 14.3 percent. It reportedly had revenue of at least $700 million a year, as of last September.
Josh Luber, a former IBM consultant, and Dan Gilbert, who founded Quicken Loans and is also an investor, launched the marketplace in 2015 with an initial focus on sneakers. The site has since expanded to include other brand name fashion apparel and accessories. Prior to starting StockX, Luber – a self-described longtime sneaker collector– had founded Campless, a “sneakerhead data” company.
Sneakers, in particular, are attracting investor interest as companies like StockX ramp up hiring. (The Detroit News reported that StockX was planning to hire more than 1,000 people over the next year after its last round of funding.)
Case in point: In February we reported how Culver City-based GOAT, a fast-growing marketplace for high-end sneakers, raised $100 million from the Foot Locker retail chain. The deal was part of a broader plan for the two retailers to combine efforts across digital and physical platforms.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias