Sneaker Marketplace Goat Group Nets $100M For Expansion On $1.75B Valuation

Online sneaker marketplace Goat Group has raised $100 million in a Series E funding round, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which will go toward expanding its products and apparel categories.

The efforts will also include initiatives to sell more directly to customers.

The round was led by D1 Capital Partners, and values the company at $1.75 billion. That’s an increase from the company’s previous $550 million value, WSJ reported, citing a source.

Sneaker culture has become more prominent in recent years as young people look for rare shoe models online, occasionally paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for them, WSJ reported. Goat Group and StockX are among the prominent new companies arising because of the trend.

Research firm Cowen estimated in July that the luxury sneaker market is worth more than $2 billion in North America and could be worth $30 billion worldwide by 2030, WSJ reported.

Goat Group plays host to more than 350 brands, including fashion brand Alexander McQueen, which this month used the site to introduce its MCQ label for jackets, dresses and more, WSJ reported.

Foot Locker last year invested $100 million in Goat Group, with a promise to collaborate on retail online and in stores in the future.

CEO Eddy Lu said sneakers would always remain central to what Goat Group does, however.

“We are not a broad-based marketplace that will sell any tchotchke in the world,” Lu said, according to WSJ. “We want to have a point of view on fashion, culture and style.”

He added that the company would seek out brands and styles that fit its unique image.

Cliff Atkinson, senior vice president and executive director of digital media at ad agency RPA, who describes himself as a “sneakerhead,” told WSJ that Goat Group and other such companies are alluring to brands because they draw in young people who are “more diverse, fashionable and willing to spend money on items they covet.”