Luxury goods and sportswear have long been the most successful segments in the apparel, luxury and fashion sector. Demand for these products is high but premium products are released in a way that is not equitable for all.
Exclusive methods such as in-person “drops” and in-store-only sales through personal shoppers mean that those who want to purchase the latest luxury fashion items are often left empty-handed. Also, the counterfeit sneaker market was worth more than five times the value of the legitimate, meaning the sale of fake sneakers has become a major problem on resale sites Laced was founded to make access to authentic sneakers fairer via its online marketplace.
Laced, an online marketplace for authentic sneakers based out of London, has raised a $12 million in Series A funding. The investment round was led by London-based early-stage investment firm Talis Capital, which led the company’s seed round. In addition, H&M Group Ventures, the investment arm of H&M Group, also invested in the round.
Previous backers BY Venture Partners and Truesight Ventures as well as a number of prominent angel investors, including Bart Swanson (current board member at Impossible Foods, and previously at Zoom) and Eric Archambeau (Co-Founder of Astanor Ventures), also contributed to the round.
With this, the total funding secured by Laced now accounts for $17 million. The company will use the funding to further expand and develop its technology and product offering. The round comes close on the heels of surpassing $100M GMV and hiring some of the most respected and talented people within the industry.
Chris Gibbons, founder and CEO of Laced, commented: “We are driven by our belief that everyone deserves access to luxury goods. Our technology and team of experts not only democratise this access, but also ensures that all products are authentic, and that each transaction is safe and secure. We have a deep relationship with Talis Capital, which is backing us again. We are delighted to welcome H&M Group Ventures on our journey as we roll out a significant product roadmap throughout the rest of the year.”
Kirill Tasilov, General Partner at Talis Capital, added “At Talis, we partner with founders who are set to redefine their industries with unconventional thinking, and Laced embodies this. We saw the business’ potential from the very beginning and this funding round demonstrates our continued support in becoming the leading marketplace for sought-after sneakers and high end luxury fashion.”
Nanna Andersen, Head of New Growth & Ventures at H&M Group commented: “We are thrilled to back Chris and the dedicated team behind Laced as they embark on the next stage of their journey. In building an impressive online marketplace, they are not only providing consumers with a specially curated selection of in-demand sneakers, but also an important platform to extend the lifecycle of products. This investment is exactly the type of company and entrepreneur that we are delighted to support.”
Online Marketplace for authentic sneakers
Founded in 2018 by CEO Chris Gibbons, Laced connects buyers and sellers of rare, exclusive and desirable sneakers and luxury goods, providing a secure, transparent and easy-to-use service for collectors and enthusiasts. Laced offers authentication of goods, same-day order processing, seven-day-a-week deliveries and same-day-as-sale payouts as standard, which is much faster than other marketplaces. It offers a transparent and easy-to-use platform for buying and selling the most exclusive and desirable sneakers.
Today, Laced launched a new brand campaign from award-winning creative agency SomeOne, reflecting the company’s evolution and including a new logo, brand colours and motifs, as well as a new typeface designed by Colophon. This new brand identity represents the company’s mission to democratise access to some of the most sought-after luxury products.