Sneaker Trading and Authentication Platform GOAT Enters China

GOAT sneaker authentication center (Photo: GOAT weibo)

Los Angeles-based sneaker trading and authentication platform GOAT has marked its entry to the Chinese market with a giant black “shoe box” that could be found on West Nanjing Road in Shanghai from July 26 to July 28. The eye-catching construction was in fact a copy of GOAT’s Los Angeles sneaker authentication center and featured 24 rare and limited-edition shoes, including unreleased models like the Nike Dunk High ‘Wu-Tang’, Nike Air Yeezy 1 ‘Glow in the Dark Tour’, and China Limited Edition CLOT x Nike Air Max 1 ‘Death Kiss’ and so on.

a giant black “shoe box” GOAT in Shanghai (Photo: GOAT weibo)

GOAT is a pioneer of the “authentication to delivery” business model, having built AI and ML technologies that help identify counterfeit footwear. Since 2015, when GOAT was started, it has accumulated more than 15 million members, 150,000 sellers, and completed 4 rounds of financing within three years, with a funding totaling more than $200 million.

By entering the Chinese market GOAT hopes to give local sneakerheads a channel to buy authentic shoes. In order to provide users with a more convenient shopping experience, GOAT has even officially launched a WeChat mini-program. However, some Chinese sneaker enthusiasts are skeptical about the company’s prospects in the market, complaining about high prices, slow logistics and sluggish return and refund rates.

Founded in 2015, GOAT is a trading platform that provides sneaker authentication services. The corporate legend has it that in 1990, when founder Daishin Sugano was 10 years old, his father sent him a pair of Air Jordan 5 ‘Grapes’. Twenty-three years later, he bought a reissue of the same model online only to find out that he bought a fake pair. Consequently, he and Eddy Lu founded GOAT (Greatest of all time), hoping to create a platform for selling high-end authentic shoes.