DST Global Backs Chinese Sneaker Reselling Platform Poizon In New Round

Chinese sneaker reselling platform "Poizon" has raised a new round of financing led by global venture capital firm DST Global, shows information updated on Chinese business data provider Tianyancha on Monday.

The latest round took Poizon’s valuation to over US$1 billion, becoming the latest Chinese start-up to join the unicorn club, people familiar with the matter told Chinese tech-focused online publication 36Kr.

The platform previously completed two funding rounds from investors including Sequoia Capita China, but the valuation cannot be verified because the company did not disclose financial details of the previous two rounds. Poizon did not immediately respond to China Money Network’s email inquiry asking for its latest valuation.

Poizon, launched in July 2015 by Shanghai Shizhuang Information Technology Co Ltd, started its business by providing sneaker authentication service based on a business model called "identification first, delivery later."

The birth of companies like Poizon is driven by popular brands generating artificial scarcity through keeping supply below demand, plus the add-up of a burgeoning celebrity-driven endorsement culture. The global sneaker resale market has already reached US$6 billion, according to data provided by German-based lifestyle news site Highsnobiety.

The Shanghai-based company has developed into a comprehensive platform for genuine sports trend equipment trading, and authenticity identification for limited-edition sneakers, as well as a photo-based community for sneaker amateurs. The Poizon platform claimed to have reached a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of over RMB10 billion (US$1.48 billion) in 2018.

Poizon has raised tens of millions of U.S. dollars from Sequoia Capita China, Gaorong Capital, and Pisi Capital in February 2019. It also raised an angel round from Chinese sports commentary and news platform Hupu in October 2018.