Detroit’s StockX Raises $44M Funding Round, Plans to Hire 1,000
StockX, the online “stock market of things” focused on sneakers and other high-demand, limited-edition products, has closed one of the largest investment rounds raised by a Detroit startup and announced yesterday that it now plans to go on a major hiring spree.
The news came from StockX CEO Josh Luber during a keynote speech at the annual Detroit Homecoming event, which seeks to help Motor City expats reconnect with and reinvest in their hometown. Luber said the company recently closed a $44 million funding round from investors including GV, the investment arm of Google’s parent company, and Battery Ventures. Luber also said StockX planned to hire about 1,000 new employees.
According to the Detroit News, StockX currently has more than 400 employees and generates roughly $2 million in transactions daily. The company expects to hit $1 billion in annual transactions if growth continues on its current trajectory.
In an interview with Xconomy in 2016—about six months after the company relocated to Detroit from New York at the behest of investor and co-founder Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans—Luber explained how StockX works.
A stock market, Luber said, is technically just a way to connect buyers and sellers. On the New York Stock Exchange, for instance, people connect to buy and sell shares in publicly traded companies. What makes StockX different from competing sites like eBay, he said, is the NYSE-level trade analytics it offers. (At inception, StockX traded a variety of items but has since narrowed its focus to shoes, streetwear, handbags, and watches.)
“StockX is the same concept [as the NYSE], except it’s applied to shoes or other goods with the same kind of consumer dynamics, like women’s handbags,” he said.
StockX was also looking for a way to combat what Luber called the biggest problem with many high-end items for resale: fakes. To thwart counterfeits, the company physically takes possession of each item on offer at StockX, shipping them to buyers only after a verification process.
Luber told the Detroit News that his company is “hiring in all positions from those who unload trucks and authenticate sneakers and handbags, to senior leadership. Of particular need is computer engineers and those who work in customer service.”
The News further reported that StockX currently has 200 job openings at its Detroit headquarters and authentication centers in Detroit and Tempe, AZ. It also will soon open authentication centers in Newark, NJ, and Europe.
StockX’s $44 million investment round closed in May, the News says. Other participants in the round included model Karlie Kloss, DJ Steve Aoki, and Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff.