09 Feb Secondary Sneaker Exchange Launched
StockX, a startup based in Detroit, launched its first consumer product exchange’s inaugural marketplace focused on the secondary sneaker space. The startup plans to expand to other consumer products that have a natural need for a secondary market.
Unlike traditional e-commerce and auction websites, StockX claims to be a live marketplace where participants will anonymously buy and sell certain limited edition consumer products (such as sneakers) with stock market-like visibility. Participants in the StockX exchange will find historical price and volume metrics, real-time bids and offers (asks), time-stamped trades and additional analytics on every sneaker model presented on the marketplace.
Buyers and sellers are promised to experience the same certainty on StockX as a trader of IBM stock would experience on the NYSE. The StockX exchange was built with the philosophy of providing an open, unbiased, visible and authentic platform.
StockX is the natural evolution of sneaker data website Campless.com, which operated similar to the ‘Kelly Blue Book’ for the sneaker market. Campless was founded by Josh Luber in 2012 and will merge into StockX. Luber will remain and lead the online consumer trading exchange as its chief executive officer.
Initially, StockX will focus on the multi-billion dollar secondary sneaker market. At launch, StockX expects to have more than 15,000 pairs of limited release sneakers representing 3,500 models. StockX will only allow unworn, preserved, original boxed sneakers known as “deadstock” to trade on its exchange.
Buyers of sneakers on StockX will be assured of the authenticity of sneakers purchased on the exchange. StockX has developed a proprietary process to verify the authenticity of each pair of shoes traded on the platform. StockX will not settle trades until it has verified that the sneakers are 100 percent authentic.
In addition to its robust real-time trading platform, StockX will provide in-depth market analysis and the latest domestic and global sneaker news.
The StockX platform will also allow users to create their own personalized ‘sneaker portfolio’ by uploading their entire current collection. StockX will then price the individual portfolio in real time so a user can evaluate gains and losses, as well as compare and contrast their sneaker collection to other users on the platform. This feature puts the sneaker trader on par with the same kind of metrics that have only been traditionally available for stock and financial portfolio analysis.
“The online secondary sneaker market has been around for more than 15 years, and it has grown exponentially during that time, but up until today, was still using outdated e-commerce platforms designed in the late 90’s,” said Luber. “The simplicity and sophistication of a stock market is the perfect platform to catapult the industry into present day and well beyond.”
“Sneakers are the perfect gateway product to allow us to prove our belief that the StockX exchange will replace e-commerce for certain limited edition, high-demand consumer products,” added Luber.
In addition to Luber, StockX was co-founded by Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans and majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Joining Gilbert and Luber in this early-stage investment is prominent high-tech venture capital firm SV Angel and its founder and co-managing partner, Ron Conway, Detroit Venture Partners (DVP), Ludlow Ventures and Courtside Ventures. The company is expected to announce an expanded investor group consisting of several high-profile entertainers, athletes and prominent figures in the sneaker world over the next few months.
“We rarely invest in high-tech companies outside of Silicon Valley, but the StockX model is very intriguing and is being led by a very experienced and successful management team. Detroit is really starting to sprout some interesting tech start-ups, especially in the FinTech space. StockX is a great fit for SV Angel’s first investment in the Motor City,” said Conway.
“StockX’s live marketplace will harness the internet’s natural ability to facilitate a better way to transact certain segments of ecommerce. We are going to bring the kind of trading platform and visibility to tangible products that financial and commodities markets have used for decades,” said Gilbert. “The efficiency, credibility and liquidity of the financial markets have been foundational to the largest economy in the world. We believe this is the right time to extend this fundamental concept to appropriate sectors of the online consumer marketplace. Ironically, the original Detroit Stock Exchange once sat less than a thousand feet from StockX headquarters here in downtown Detroit. It is only fitting that we are going to build the next iteration of the world’s most efficient market invention almost in the same spot.”