Mark Wahlberg and Eminem Have Invested in a Sneaker Stock Market
Sneaker stock market startup StockX—an e-commerce site that targets the global sneaker resell market—has raised $6 million in a new fundraising round that includes actor Mark Wahlberg and AOL chief Tim Armstrong.
The company on Wednesday confirmed it closed on a round of funding that included some former investors, including rapper Eminem, and a handful of new investors including fashion designer Jon Buscemi, rapper Wale, Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden, and TV host/radio personality DJ Skee. The money raised will be used to help StockX expand into other product categories, including watches and handbags, and also continue to grow the company’s sneaker business. It claims the resell market for sneakers is worth $6 billion globally.
Launched about a year ago, StockX was founded as a marketplace for so-called sneakerheads—consumers who are obsessed with collecting popular and limited-edition sneakers that are most often made by big manufacturers like Nike (NKE) and Adidas (ADDYY).
The idea is that StockX can connect buyers and sellers using a live bidding market, similar to how an individual would buy shares on a stock market. StockX takes a percentage of the sales that are booked on the company’s website. It also features Nike, Jordan and Adidas indexes that gauge estimated U.S. resell sales over the past 24 hours.
Co-founder and CEO Josh Luber told Fortune last year that he launched StockX because “in the sneaker community and resell marketplace that’s existed for as long as Air Jordan in 1985, there’s never been a data-driven price guide.” Popular sneakers were often resold on websites like EBay (EBAY), but there wasn’t a lot of information about what prices were appropriate for the Nike, Jordan and Adidas shoes that were auctioned on those websites.
In that interview, Luber had hinted that while StockX was initially launching as a sneaker market, the longer-term goal for the company would be to become a destination to help resell and appropriately price other consumer goods. That explains why StockX has described itself as a Detroit-based “stock market of things.” That’s because another co-founder, Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert, had always expressed interest in launching a site that would buy and sell goods in a way that mirrors the stock market. Because their goals were closely aligned, Luber and Gilbert launched StockX to focus on the sneaker market first.
Luber has said that women’s shoes, stamps, baseball cards, toys and comics are all consumer products that generate a lot of sales in the resale market. “We started with sneakers and we will move into other verticals that look like sneakers next,” Luber said. “The idea is to expand into whatever you can buy or sell using a stock market.”