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Sneaker investment platform Rares seeks to raise $2.4M

Kimberly Chin
May 17, 2022
Illustration of a pair of sneakers with a dollar sign insignia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Rares, part online community, part investment platform for rare and collectible sneakers, is betting returns from sneakers can weather any kind of downturn.

Why it matters: Sneakers aren’t affected by traditional conditions in the market, CEO Gerome Sapp tells Axios.

  • “Scarcity is the number one thing that affects sneaker value,” he says. “Sneakers will continue to do well” no matter how the market is doing.

How it works: The collectible sneakers on Sapp’s platform typically cost around $10,000 or higher. They’re “shoes that the normal person wouldn’t really have access to,” he says.

  • Rares allows people to own a fractional share of pricey, buzzy kicks.

The latest: The company is currently seeking to raise $2.4 million in a seed extension round, Sapp tells Axios.

  • The company opened the round this month and about half of the capital is already committed, he says.
  • Existing investor MaC Venture Capital is leading this round. MaC led its $4 million round in October, alongside Cake Ventures, Portfolia Rising America Funds I and II, and Evolution VC.

The intrigue: The company has also brought on a new investor, Dapper Labs, which is the company behind CryptoKitties, NBA Top Shot and the Flow blockchain. Dapper has made a commitment to the current Rares round, according to Sapp.

Of note: Rares has hopped onto the NFT bandwagon.

  • At the end of April, it launched the Hype Drop L Club, which allows sneaker fans who lose out on Nike’s weekly sneaker lottery to get access to an NFT that mimics the actual sneaker.

What’s next: The company plans to create NFTs around more of its collectibles, Sapp says. There are also plans to create 3D wearables of high-end sneakers in the metaverse and to expand into vintage tees, and trading cards.

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