GOAT just raised $25M. Here’s what you should know.

LOS ANGELES — Shoe trading was already big business before GOAT came along. But by connecting users with users — and eradicated the risk for fakes — they’ve just made it easier.

TechCrunch has reported that GOAT, a mobile-only marketplace for sneaker trading, has just landed $25M, led by Accel Partners — this on top of the $12.6M it’s already raised thus far, dating back to 2011. (continued below…)

Several key facts about GOAT, run by CEO Eddy Lu:

  • It’s strictly mobile: We’re talking app only. That makes sense, given GOAT’s userbase, sneakerheads, are all in on all things digital. This is about keeping things simple, and knowing your users’s habits well.
  • The growth is real: “Since [its last raise in August 2016 — a $5M Series A], Lu says the company’s user base has grown to 1.5 million and GMV [gross merchandise volume] has increased 10x in that time.”
  • It ensures all sneakers are genuine: “GOAT does the hard work of verifying that the shoes its customers buy are the real deal and not cheap knockoffs made to look like Yeezys. It also checks the condition of those sneakers to make sure your Jordans aren’t [messed] up.” This is vital. Trust is everything. If users aren’t confident that they’re finding the genuine item on a particular platform, there’s no reason for them to come back.
  • But it also holds inventory, and is outgrowing its warehouses quickly. From TechCrunch: “‘We started with a 2,500-square-foot warehouse, and we outgrew that during the middle of last year,’ Lu said. Since then, the company has added a 4,000-square-foot facility across the street and another 7,000-square-foot warehouse nearby. With the new funding, GOAT is looking to find a space where it can bring everything back under one roof.”
  • They want to massively reduce their shipping times, especially on the east coast: “[T]he company is hoping to make sales happen more quickly by opening a new distribution center on the east coast. Currently all shoes are verified and authenticated out of its L.A. facilities, which means longer shipping and processing times for buyers and sellers in New York City, for instance. But ‘we want to be able to ship anywhere in two days,’ Lu said.”
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