Tokyo-based SODA, which runs sneaker reselling platform SNKRDUNK, has raised a $22 million Collection B led by SoftBank Ventures Asia. Buyers additionally included basepartners, Colopl Subsequent, THE GUILD and different strategic companions. A part of the funding can be used to increase into different Asian nations. Most of SNKRDUNK’s transactions are inside Japan now, however it plans to change into a cross-border market.
Alongside SODA’s $Three million Collection A final 12 months, this brings the startup’s whole funding thus far to $25 million.
Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic was initially anticipated to place a damper on the sneaker resell market, C2C marketplaces have truly seen their enterprise enhance. For instance, StockX, one of many largest sneaker resell platforms on the planet (which hit a valuation of $2.eight billion after its current Collection E), said May and June 2020 have been its largest months for gross sales ever.
SNKRDUNK’s gross sales additionally grew final 12 months, and in December 2020, it recorded a 3,000% year-over-year enhance in month-to-month gross merchandise worth. Chief government officer Yuta Uchiyama advised TechCrunch this was as a result of demand for sneakers remained excessive, whereas extra individuals additionally began shopping for issues on-line.
Launched in 2018, SNKRDUNK now has 2.5 million month-to-month customers, which it says makes it the biggest C2C sneaker market in Japan. The Collection B will permit it to hurry up the tempo of its worldwide enlargement, add extra classes and increase its authentication amenities.
Like StockX and GOAT, SNKRDUNK’s person charges cowl authentication holds earlier than sneakers are despatched to consumers. The corporate companions with FAKE BUSTERS, an authentication service based mostly in Japan, to examine sneakers earlier than they’re despatched to consumers.
Along with its market, SNKRDUNK additionally runs a sneaker information website and a web-based group.
SODA plans to work with different corporations in SoftBank Enterprise Asia’s portfolio that develop AI-based tech to assist automate its operations, together with logistics, cost, customer support and counterfeit inspection.