China’s Blind Box Toy Sensation Invests in Sneaker Resale Platform

Air Jordan 1 sneakers for sale on the Solestage platform.

Pop Mart, the Chinese toy brand that has ridden a craze for “blind boxes” to a $7 billion valuation and a buzzy $767 million Hong Kong IPO, has invested “tens of millions of yuan” in sneaker resale platform, Solestage, giving the latter a valuation of around 200 million yuan ($31 million), according to a report in New Consumer Daily.

The strategic investment, the exact details of which remain undisclosed, is the first for Solestage, which was founded in 2013 in Los Angeles by three young sneakerheads, Xia Jiahuan, Zhang Yu and Wang Lei, and has since expanded to include stores in New York, Beijing and Shanghai, as well as plans for upcoming stores in Chengdu and Hangzhou. The platform has garnered a reputation over the years for its connections and ability to procure exclusive and hard-to-find products.

This is the second investment Pop Mart has made in the fashion realm recently, last month it was also involved in a Series A funding round of $15 million in Hanfu fashion label, Shisanyu.