Detroit startup StockX, which has pioneered a stock market for sneakers and IPOs for consumer goods and charities, announced a $44-million Series B funding round Wednesday led by Alphabet Inc GOOGL GOOG's Google Ventures and Battery Ventures.
Benzinga has covered StockX since its inception two-and-a-half years ago, and in that time the company has grown rapidly to $2 million in daily sales and a staff of 400.
In an onstage interview at a Detroit Fintech Association meeting in May, StockX co-founder and CEO Josh Luber said the company is in a "hypergrowth" phase.
The stock market has been the “most efficient form of commerce” for hundreds of years, and StockX is applying the concept to consumer goods rather than equities, Luber said.
“You literally are buying the Yeezy index instead of the Dow Jones.”
New Investors Include Aoki, Kloss, Benioff
The $44-million round is the largest in the history of Detroit startups and will help fund both geographic and product expansion, according to StockX.
The company plans to use the funds to expand internationally, build its network of product authentication centers and widen its product range.
StockX named high-profile individual investors Wednesday who are taking a stake in the company alongside Google Ventures and Battery Ventures. They include DJ Steve Aoki, model Karlie Kloss, designer Don C, salesforce.com, inc. CRM co-CEO and Chairman Marc Benioff, Annox Capital founder and managing partner Bob Mylod, Third Kind Venture Capital managing partner Shana Fisher and Ludlow Ventures managing partner Jonathon Triest.
The StockX Model
CEO Luber recalled in May how he shared his idea for an online sneaker resale forum that functioned like a stock market with StockX co-founder and Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert at a Cleveland Cavaliers game. To Luber's surprise, Gilbert told him that very concept was being developed in Detroit. Luber, Gilbert and StockX COO Greg Schwartz launched the company in February 2016.
Video: Josh Luber talks StockX at the 2018 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards.
Unlike eBay Inc EBAY, selling on StockX doesn't entail listing a product and waiting for buyers to come in and negotiate. Sellers simply enter the site, see the current market price for their shoe, and decide if they want to sell. Luber said this is similar to how traders enter a trading platform, see the market price for a given stock in their portfolios and decide if they want to sell.
Gilbert and Luber announced the Series B funding during a fireside chat Wednesday at the Detroit Homecoming event hosted by Crain's Detroit Business.
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