The figures speak for themselves - the sneaker business is still booming. More than 1.5 billion US-dollars were raised by sneaker companies this year. The green sneaker label Allbirds is just the latest example. So who are the other companies that have benefited from fresh funding?
The sneaker investment app Rares is based on an idea by former American football player Gerome Sapp to make the sneaker collector market accessible to all. Users can invest in sneakers by buying shares in them, which they can then trade on the platform. The start-up was founded this year and has already raised 4 million US dollars through a funding round in October.
London-based luxury sneaker retailer Kick Game has secured 3.5 million British pounds (4.7 million US dollars) in new funding from growth equity firm VGC Partners and is aiming for sales of 50 million pounds by 2022.
Founded in 2013 by sneakerhead brothers Robert and David Franks, Kick Game is capitalising on the fast-growing streetwear market and the soaring demand for exclusive, rare and sell-out sneakers. "The sneaker market is one of the fastest growing unregulated markets in the world and we intend to match its pace," said chief operating officer Robert Franks.
Community-based sneaker start-up Solesavy has closed not one but two financing rounds this year. It first raised 2 million US dollars in January, before dwarfing that amount with a funding round of 12.5 million US dollars in June.
Founded in 2018, the Vancouver-based company promises sneakerheads effortless access to their coveted releases without having to deal with bots or other resale tools.
Sneaker marketplace Goat raised more than 195 million US dollars in June. As a result, the valuation of the Los Angeles-based company more than doubled from 1.8 to 3.7 billion US dollars. Goat was founded in 2015 as a platform for buying and selling sneakers and has since launched other categories such as apparel and accessories. Today, the marketplace has around 30 million members and 600,000 merchants.
The sneaker exchange StockX, founded in 2016 in Detroit, received 255 million US dollars from investors in its latest round of financing in April. StockX has mastered the concept of the sneaker as an investment object. The prices of Jordans and Yeezys are displayed on the website like stock prices, and the company is now also involved in the flourishing market for digital collectibles.
"StockX has quickly become one of the largest and fastest growing consumer marketplaces - serving an accelerating global audience thirsting for authenticity and relevant products," said Brad Gerstner, founder of Altimeter Capital, about the latest funding round. Since then, the company value of StockX has reached a whopping 3.8 billion US dollars, according to its own estimates.
The sustainable sneaker company Allbirds from San Francisco has achieved remarkable development since its inception. More than 8 million pairs of the comfortable shoes made of innovative materials such as eucalyptus fibres and sugarcane-based soles have been sold so far.
The direct-to-consumer company's success continued on the trading floor in November. With its initial public offering, Allbirds raised 303 million US dollars, increasing the company’s worth to a hefty 2.15 billion US dollars.
Swiss sporting goods company On Holding AG reported total proceeds of around 746 million US dollars (634 million euros) with its IPO in September. Founded in 2010, the Zurich-based company presented itself to investors as "one of the fastest growing athletic footwear companies in the world" ahead of its IPO. In the past year, it increased its turnover by 59 per cent to 425.3 million Swiss francs (455 million US dollars). In the first half of the current year, the growth rate was even just under 85 percent.
And 2021 is not over yet. Among the contenders for fresh funding are British online sneaker shop Edit Ldn and British shoe retailer Hotter Shoes, which has announced a share placement via the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) segment of the London Stock Exchange.