The sneaker market is hotter than a firecracker, and online sneaker marketplace GOAT Group is already off to a hot start to its summer. After successfully closing a $195 million series F funding round, the company has more than doubled its valuation, to $3.7 billion, offering further proof that the sneaker market shows no signs of slowing.
Though GOAT group is known primarily for its secondary market offerings, GOAT Co-Founder & CEO Eddy Lu tells Yahoo Finance Live that the company, through its partners, has deep ties to the primary market as well.
“This is a testament to our continued differentiation in the space where we are the convergence of not just the secondary and resell markets, but the primary markets as well — where primary vendors such as Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Versace sell directly on our platform as well,” says Lu.
He tells Yahoo Finance that the number one goal for the company out of this latest funding round is to bring shareholder value up and continue to build a long-lasting, sustainable company.
While GOAT’s primary business is still footwear, with the company experiencing 100% year-over-year growth in sneakers, apparel has grown at a staggering 500% year-over-year pace for the company. Lu credits a large portion of that growth to the younger generation, which has carried the platform to $2 billion gross merchandise value in the last 12 months.
“Eighty percent of our 30 million members are Gen Z and millennials. They are the next generation of luxury and fashion consumers because it starts with the sneaker — kids get excited about a sneaker. They get more interested in fashion and they graduate into luxury. They graduate into lifestyle and fashion, and this is what we’re seeing, why the brands are so excited to partner directly with us because we are a platform. It’s not just one of these commoditized marketplaces. We have a point of view on fashion, culture and style.”
Lu says that GOAT will use the proceeds from the financing round to help further invest in growth in its sneaker business and its rapidly growing apparel and accessories verticals. The company also plans to expand to 13 global facilities in Chicago, China, Japan, and Singapore. The company will also look to make investments in the technological arm of its business.
When it comes to the big sellers on the platform, Lu points to Nike’s (NKE) Jordan brand but says that there has been a bigger push by consumers towards luxury as the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nike just reported their earnings; Jordans of course are still very, very hot. They continue to make iconic and amazing sneakers. But what we’re seeing now that the world is opening up is that lifestyle luxury is getting more hot because people, when they go out, they want to show off. And we’re seeing companies like Versace do really well on our platform as well.”