GOAT's $100M Raise Fuels its Trendsetter Ambitions in a Casual Era of Ecommerce
Rachel Uranga covers the intersection of business, technology and culture. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.
GOAT began as an online sneaker reseller, but the startup's on a meteoric rise having just landed another $100 million investment round. That gives it a $1.75 billion valuation, sources familiar with the transaction said.
Launched five years ago by college friends to "authenticate" used AirJordans and other collectible shoes sought by sneakerheads, GOAT is positioning itself to be a global luxury shoe and apparel retailer as the brick-and-mortar model falls into decline.
Earlier this year, GOAT launched its new brand campaign during the NBA Playoffs, attempting to establish itself as a tastemaker for its 30 million members. The company, which takes its name from the sports acronym for "Greatest of All Time," has expanded its online store to include new clothes and accessories from luxury brands such as Alexander McQueen and Versace.
Its mix of iconic brands to streetwear, along with its online orientation, could boost it during the pandemic as fashion trends embrace a sweatpants aesthetic and a shopping-at-home culture.
Co-founder and CEO Eddy Lu has said he wants GOAT to be a curator and not just a transactional retailer.
"Our mission is to bring the world's greatest products together from the past, present and future, while providing a premier end-to-end customer experience with a point of view on culture and style," he said in a statement.
The funds will be used to expand their market reach.
Their series E round was bankrolled by Dan Sundeheim's D1 Capital partners, a firm he started in 2018 after leaving as Viking Global Investors' chief investment officer. His $4 billion fund has been pouring money into public and private companies, most recently injecting $200 million into the controversial online trading company RobinHood Financial.
With the most recent round of funding, the company has raised $300 million from venture capital and strategic partners including FootLocker.
It boasts customers in 170 countries and 13 physical locations.
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Minutes into filling out my absentee ballot last week, I was momentarily distracted by my dog Seamus. A moment later, I realized in horror that I was filling in the wrong bubble — accidentally voting "no" on a ballot measure that I meant to vote "yes" on.
It was only a few ink marks, but it was noticeable enough. Trying to fix my mistake, I darkly and fully filled in the correct circle and then, as if testifying to an error on a check, put my initials next to the one I wanted.
Then I worried. As a reporter who has previously covered election security for years, I went on a mini-quest trying to understand how a small mistake can have larger repercussions.
As Los Angeles County's 5.6 million registered voters all receive ballots at home for the first time, I knew my experience could not be unique. But I wondered, would my vote count? Or would my entire ballot now be discarded?
My distractingly sweet dog, Seamus.
Photo by Tami Abdollah
GoodRx earned dot.LA's top 2020 Startup award on Wednesday, beating out the popular sneaker reseller GOAT, the meditation application Headspace, mobile gamer Scopely and viral-video app TikTok.
"GoodRx started in Los Angeles, and will always be a Los Angeles-based company," said co-CEO Doug Hirsch. "We're so excited about the support we've received over the last decade from both entrepreneurs and investors and just incredible people that make up the ecosystem here in California and specifically in Los Angeles."