The online sneaker resale marketplace StockX is in advanced talks to be valued at at least $1 billion in a new round of financing, Recode has learned.
DST Global, the late-stage venture firm run by Russian-American billionaire Yuri Milner, is expected to lead the deal, according to people familiar with the matter. It will be the latest bet by the firm on an e-commerce startup after backing companies like DoorDash, Wish, and Faire.
The exact size of the financing round couldn’t be learned. Another expected participant is GGV Capital, the venture firm famous for investing in both the US and China, according to the people. StockX is planning to make some other major company announcements when it unveils the fundraising round, which is likely to be closed in the next few weeks.
StockX, DST, and GGV all declined to comment.
StockX launched in 2016 and was founded by Dan Gilbert, the billionaire owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, COO Greg Schwartz and CEO Josh Luber, who previously ran Campless, a site that eventually became StockX and displayed data about hard-to-find sneakers.
StockX plays matchmaker for sneakerheads looking for rare kicks and resellers looking to flip unworn, in-demand sneakers for a profit. Sellers ship their goods to StockX facilities where employees authenticate that the sneakers are genuine before shipping them out to a buyer.
StockX, which is not profitable, charges a minimum $5 selling fee, plus as much as 12.5 percent in transaction and payments fees. Luber told the New York Times a year ago that StockX generated about $2 million in gross sales every day. The company has 700 employees.
The Detroit-based company gets its name from its stock market-like pricing structure, which lets shoppers either pay the lowest asking price from one of StockX’s sellers or place an even lower bid and see if it eventually matches up with a seller’s asking price. StockX also makes the pricing history of a given sneaker transparent, which is one reason it bills itself as a next-generation eBay. While sneakers are StockX’s sweet spot, the site also sells watches, handbags, and streetwear through the same model.
Like competitors GOAT and Stadium Goods, StockX has benefited from the rising popularity of acquiring tough-to-buy sneakers, especially among millennial men and teenage boys.
And the valuations of the companies in the space show it. The luxury e-commerce website Farfetch paid around $250 million to acquire Stadium Goods, which uses a consignment model, last year. And GOAT, which also owns the boutique sneaker store chain Flight Club, was valued at more than $550 million when Foot Locker invested $100 million in the company earlier this year.
Because of its real-time pricing model, StockX is often able to offer slightly cheaper prices, But StockX’s success and billion-dollar valuation are predicated on these high-end sneakers remaining fashionable or collectors’ items — and that’s no guarantee.
Previously, StockX has been financially backed by Gilbert, as well as Battery Ventures and GV, Alphabet’s early-stage arm.