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Home » WSJ News Exclusive | Goat Group, Parent of Sneaker Marketplace, Valued at $3.7 Billion in Latest Funding Round

WSJ News Exclusive | Goat Group, Parent of Sneaker Marketplace, Valued at $3.7 Billion in Latest Funding Round

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Goat Group, parent company of an online marketplace for sneakerheads, said it has raised $195 million through private investors to continue its push into international markets.

The latest funding round values the company at $3.7 billion, more than double its valuation when the company raised $100 million in September.

The company also provided detail about its financial performance, saying $2 billion of merchandise was sold on its Goat platform over the past year. Sales of sneakers during the period doubled compared with the previous year.

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Goat remains best known as a platform to buy popular or hard-to-find sneakers, and much of its success can be traced to the continued ascendancy of sneaker and streetwear culture. Wealthy shoppers have proved willing to shell out far more than the retail price of popular styles and colorways, fueling a competitive and controversial market for buying and flipping shoes.

The sneaker and streetwear resale market in North America hit more than $2 billion last year, according to Cowen, which estimates that the global market could reach $30 billion by 2030.

Unlike competitors such as StockX LLC and

eBay Inc.,


EBAY 1.41%

which are exclusively resell platforms, Goat also sells directly from its more than 350 brand partners, including Gucci, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen.

In 2019, the company began expanding beyond sneakers into luxury apparel and accessories.

Eddy Lu,

Goat Group’s chief executive, said in an interview that the retailer has been careful about adding new categories to ensure the marketplace remains in line with the desires of its young customer base.

“We care about authenticity, and that’s why we don’t create all of these verticals,” Mr. Lu said. “We have a point of view on fashion, culture and style.”

The Goat customer base is young, fashionable and comfortable wearing expensive items alongside their secondhand purchases, Mr. Lu said. Of Goat’s 30 million customers, 80% are millennials and Gen Zers.


‘We have a point of view on fashion, culture and style.’


— Eddy Lu, Goat Group CEO

For fashion labels concerned about preserving brand integrity, the Goat marketplace offers access to those shoppers on a more curated platform, he said. “We’re not selling their products next to

Nvidia

graphics cards and batteries and things like that,” Mr. Lu said.

International markets remain a primary target for growth, Mr. Lu said. Part of the proceeds from the latest funding round will be used to open four additional fulfillment centers this year. Three of those centers will be located in Asia, adding to three existing international facilities. The new facilities will help cut costs associated with international shipping and make shipping speeds more competitive, he said.

The retailer has 13 fulfillment centers across the U.S., Europe and Asia, where it checks the authenticity and quality of resale merchandise before shipping it to customers.

Goat Group, which was founded in 2015, previously raised about $300 million over multiple fundraising rounds, with past investors including D1 Capital Partners LP, Accel, Upfront Ventures and retailer

Foot Locker Inc.


FL 0.02%

The latest funding round was led by Park West Asset Management LLC.

Write to Charity L. Scott at [email protected]

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