In 2015, as sneakerheads were increasingly looking online for rare and exclusive kicks, Daishin Sugano and Eddy Lu launched the online marketplace called GOAT. Until recently, buying secondhand sneakers online was not a pleasant experience, with poorly shot photos and no way to ascertain the authenticity of the products. By contrast, the Los Angeles-based GOAT offers a clean, streamlined aesthetic, and it certifies each product as authentic before it is shipped to a buyer. GOAT’s 12 million members can now peruse the more than 800,000 sneakers, which can run upwards of $10,000 a pair. GOAT has been credited with bringing access and pricing transparency to the resale sneaker market, which generates upwards of a billion dollars in sales annually.
In 2018, GOAT acquired Flight Club, a decades-old sneaker marketplace that sells products online and in several retail stores in Los Angeles and New York. GOAT raised a $60 Series C round, and then in February 2019, it earned a $100 million strategic investment from Foot Locker, bringing its total investment to $198 million. The brand has been leaning into storytelling to grow as a brand. It has a periodical called Greatest, which delves into sneakerhead culture, and collaborated with Versace on a shoe launch. It also signed up Los Angeles Lakers star Kyle Kuzma to serve as a brand ambassador.