Sneaker site StockX raises funds, hires eBay executive

BERLIN (Reuters) - StockX, an online market place which specializes in reselling limited-edition sneakers, has raised $110 million from investors to fund its expansion and poached Scott Cutler from eBay as its new chief executive, it said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: The Adidas limited-edition sneakers that match the Berlin subway seat design, and include a yearly travel pass, are displayed at the 'Overkill' shoe store in Berlin, Germany January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

Founded in Detroit in 2016, StockX has grown rapidly to sell more than $1 billion of products a year on its site and is expanding from sneakers into watches, handbags and streetwear, and opening bricks-and-mortar stores, starting in New York.

It said the new funding round, involving investors including DST Global, General Atlantic, GGV Capital, GV and Battery Ventures, valued the company at more than $1 billion.

It will use the investment to expand internationally, particularly in Europe and Asia, add more product categories like collectible toys, and open stores in key markets.

Prior to his role as senior vice president, Americas at eBay, Cutler was president of ticket marketplace StubHub, and an executive vice president at the New York Stock Exchange, where he led tech listings including LinkedIn, Twitter and Alibaba.

He takes over from StockX co-founder Josh Luber, who will continue to be part of the firm’s leadership team.

“All we did was copy how the stock market works and apply it to new commodities,” Luber told Reuters during a visit to Berlin last week. “The concept of a retail price is antiquated for certain products.”

StockX is capitalizing on a trend for brands like Nike and Adidas to release limited numbers of high-end sneakers, which are then resold as collectors’ items at much higher prices than in the store.

“We have taken this category from eBay. How do you take other categories, how do you expand it and how do you work with brands to move into the retail sector,” Luber said, adding the model works for any products with finite supply.

Sneakers currently account for about three-quarters of sales on the StockX site, with streetwear making up 20 percent.

StockX charges a commission ranging between 9 and 14 percent depending on the category for goods sold on its site and runs authentication centers, to make sure products are not fakes before they are shipped on to buyers.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Mark Potter