Just six months after leading SODA’s Series B, SoftBank Ventures Asia is increasing its bet on the Tokyo-based sneaker resale platform. SoftBank Group’s early stage venture capital arm announced today that it has returned to lead SODA’s Series C, which currently totals $ 56.4 million.
Other investors include South Korean sneaker resale platform KREAM (another portfolio company of SoftBank Ventures Asia), Altos Ventures and JAFCO.
Launched in 2018, SODA manages SNKRDUNK, one of the largest sneaker resale platforms in Japan with around 2.5 million monthly users. Along with its new financing, SODA announced the acquisition of its rival Monokabu. SODA said the deal means its share of the sneaker resale industry in Japan is now 80%, making it the market leader by far.
A spokesperson for SoftBank Ventures Asia told TechCrunch that the fund decided to invest in SODA again because the company’s growth has increased rapidly since its previous funding. SODA’s post-currency valuation is now around 24 billion yen, or about 218 million US dollars.
Part of SODA’s Series C funding will also be used to expand into other Asian markets, starting with Indonesia and the Philippines next year, as both countries have growing e-commerce markets and a large percentage of Generation Z, an ideal combination for SNKRDUNK.
The company’s previous funding, its $ 22 million Series B, was announced in January. At the time, Uchiyama told TechCrunch that demand for sneakers remained high despite the economic impact of the pandemic and that the increased adoption of online shopping had also helped boost sales.
SODA claims to have achieved a record revenue of $ 34.7 million in May 2021, with 900% year-over-year growth. Despite COVID-19, many C2C sneaker marketplaces, such as StockX, have also seen their sales increase.
SNKRDUNK will work closely with KREAM to share their knowledge on sneaker authentication, inventory management, logistics and other areas related to operations, with the aim of increasing their share of the Asian sneaker resale market. .
In addition to KREAM and SODA, SoftBank Ventures Asia is also an investor in the China-based sneaker trading platform Nice.