SoftBank Ventures Asia (SBVA) is the lead investor in the USD 56.4 million Series C round for Tokyo-based e-commerce company Soda. Korean sneaker reselling platform Kream, as well as investment firms Altos Ventures and JAFCO, also participated in the financing.
Soda runs Japanese online sneaker marketplace Snkrdunk, which has 2.5 million monthly users. Along with the new investment, Soda also announced its acquisition of Monokabu, Japan’s second largest operator in the sneaker market. This gives Soda an 80% share of the sneaker market in Japan. In May, Soda’s sales reached approximately USD 34.7 million for the month, and the platform grew by 900% year-on-year, according to a press statement.
“With the global sneaker resale market increasing by more than 20% annually and estimated to hit close to USD 30 billion by 2030, we believe there is strong growth potential in the industry,” said JP Lee, CEO of SoftBank Ventures Asia, in a statement. He expects that the volume of sneaker resale transactions produced by the firm’s portfolio companies in South Korea, China, and Japan will exhibit a high growth curve. “We will actively utilize SBVA’s global network to help them create more strategic synergy and lead the Asian market,” Lee said.
In January, SBVA made an initial investment of USD 17 million in Soda’s Series B financing round. To date, Soda has raised around USD 81.4 million. SBVA’s other portfolios in the industry are South Korea’s Kream and Nice, a China-based sneaker trading platform.
“This investment has enabled us to make an important merger and acquisition that places us in a strong position in the Japanese sneaker resale market,” said Yuta Uchiyama, CEO of Soda. With the new funding, Soda will continue to enhance digitalization and expand into Southeast Asia, beginning with Indonesia and the Philippines next year, he added.