Goat and Flight Club are amalgamating.
Goat, a resale sneaker app, and Flight Club, a sneaker consignment store with locations in New York and Los Angeles, will continue to operate as separate brands, but begin to share resources.
According to Daishin Sugano, who cofounded Goat with Eddy Lu in 2015, the initial goal is to help Flight Club, which opened in 2005, leverage the technology Goat has built and improve its logistics and operations.
“The main thing to consider in this day and age is that you must deliver the best experience as possible to the customer,” said Sugano. “We are excited to build an inventory system that can be shared in the future.”
Goat, which is based in Culver City, Calif., has helped elevate the sneaker reselling experience. It repackages all shoes in Goat packaging for consistency and gets very granular when it comes to the merchandising and delivery processes. Sugano said they track packages so closely that they know if something is off-schedule and can engage with the order to make sure a customer receives it in a speedy manner.
Goat also wants to leverage Flight Club’s physical spaces, which Sugano believes are still integral to the sneaker shopping experience. Goat has held pop-up activations in the past.
Damany Weir, who started out as an eBay seller before introducing Flight Club, a leader in the sneaker reselling market, believes this partnership is a smart next step for the business.
“Aligning with Goat’s world-class technology and mobile listings platform is the logical evolution of our business,” said Weir. “The complementary strengths of the two companies puts us in the best position to go after the entire market rather than compete for pieces of it.”
Sugano said Weir reached out to him in 2016 and they continued to meet at a coffee shop in Los Angeles to talk about sneakers and business. Eventually they formed some synergies and decided to make the relationship more formal.
Flight Club was advised by PJ Solomon in the transaction.
As one, the companies have a new funding round of $60 million led by Index Ventures. Other participants include existing Goat investors Accel, Matrix Partners, Upfront Ventures and Webb Investment Network. This most recent round brings Goat’s total funding to $97.6 million. Sugano said they will use this funding to scale the business and move into international markets.
Sugano also believes the demand for sneakers is only going to increase, particularly with luxury brands entering the space and drawing in a customer who might not have been previously interested in the category.
Even as the resale market continues to grow, there have yet to be any formal partnerships between these platforms and the brands such as Nike or Adidas that produce the product. In Sugano’s view, that will eventually change.
“Nike is working with Amazon and they are looking for new ways to distribute product in an efficient way,” he said. “We are clearly the leaders in our space and with this merger we are going to push forward even more. We have a young demographic interacting and purchasing from our site, so I don’t see how a brand couldn’t eventually look to us and see an opportunity.”