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Sneakers Marketplace Nice, Closes Series D Round of Funding
COVID-19 and China
Sneakers picture. Photo: Credit to Pexels.

Nice, an online marketplace for buying and selling sneakers, has closed its Series D round of financing with an undisclosed amount, led by TPG and Vision+ Capital and followed by MatrixPartners China and InventionCap.

Founded in 2013, nice started its business by operating a photo-sharing social networking platform, a far cry from the business that it runs today. Investors were optimistic about this startup's prospects as well as its emerging product – networking through sharing photos – as nice raised USD 6,000 from three rounds of financing within 2014. The investors consisted of famous VCs such as Tiger Fund China, ZhenFund, MatrixPartners China, Morningside Venture Capital and so on.

However, nice made a strategic decision to transform its business to an online marketplace for buying and selling sneakers and launched its new product in 2018. As nice takes on a new look, it creates a purchase link for sneakers. Business models of running a social networking platform and a marketplace are different. The former depends on advertisement to make a profit, while the latter’s revenue is generated mostly by trading.

A number of sneaker brands have continually emerged in the past decade as the market prospered. Nice seized the opportunity and combined social networking with trading. Sneakers are somehow a reflection of changing fashions and fads, so word-of-mouth communication is one of the most effective means of promoting sales. Thus, content shared by influencers, especially celebrities and KOLs, will suffice.

Besides, considering that customers always are concerned about the authenticity of sneakers sold via its platform, nice offers to authenticate each pair of sneakers.

Nice is actually a latecomer in this market since several similar sneaker marketplaces have gone before, such as Du, GOAT, StockX and so on. To stay ahead of the competition, nice plans to expand its SKU while still focusing on sneakers. According to nice, 3,000 Starbucks' cat-paw mugs were snapped up at bargain prices with 48 hours since nice released this product online.

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