Online sneaker resale platform Goat Group has raised $100 million in Series E funding, it announced.
The new funding, which comes from D1 Capital Partners, will be used to further the company’s push into new apparel and product categories as well as to back efforts to get more brands to sell products directly on the platform.
The deal takes the company to a $1.75 billion valuation, up from $550 million, a person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. Goat’s main competitor, Stock X, reached a $1 billion valuation last year.
Goat Group, which was founded in 2015, had previously raised about $200 million from investors that included retailer Foot Locker — which dedicated $100 million to the company in early 2019 — as well as Accel, Index and Upfront Ventures.
At the time of Foot Locker’s investment, the companies said it could eventually lead to Goat gaining an in-store presence and Foot Locker, a staple of brick-and-mortar malls, expanding its digital reach.
Goat Group boasts 30 million members and 600,000 sellers overall, with 13 physical locations in the United States, Asia and Europe for authentication and distributions. The company’s platforms feature more than 350 brands across sneakers, apparel and accessories.
“We witnessed the impressive success that catapulted GOAT to become a top player in the sneaker space and were drawn to their disciplined operational approach and differentiated value proposition,” D1 Capital Partners founder Dan Sunheim said in a release.
“As GOAT continues to grow its core business and expand into new categories, it is rapidly emerging as one of the best positioned next generation global e-commerce platforms. We have confidence in GOAT’s exceptional leadership team to execute on their clear and bold vision.”
In 2019, financial services firm Cowen estimated the total global sneaker market to be worth $100 billion, with the resale market accounting for $6 billion. In the U.S., the market for new sneakers was worth $21 billion, while the resale market was worth $2 billion.
That global sneaker resale market could reach $30 billion by 2030, Cowen analysts said in July. Analyst John Kernan told Yahoo Finance that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of the resale market.
“I think the sneakerheads got more involved as COVID-19 picked up,” he said. “There are new customers out there. They’re acquiring new consumers. They’ve never done this before either. So I don’t think it’s a fad. I think when you’re talking to price points that these things are going for this, isn’t a fad. Fads are cheap fashion-driven or trend-driven things. Fads aren’t $500 items.”
Online apparel sales have skyrocketed, generally, during the pandemic.
On Sept. 22, sneaker and sportswear giant Nike reported an 82% year-over-year increase in online sales during the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year. The company announced a new strategy it is calling “Consumer Direct Acceleration” in July, to continue its push to sell more products directly to customers through its website and digital platforms.
In August, retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods reported a 194% increase in online sales year-over-year during its second quarter, and Adidas reported a 93% increase in e-commerce sales year-over-year during its second quarter.