RTFKT — the digital fashion powerhouse that made history this February selling $3.1 million worth of NFT sneakers in just seven minutes — has just scored $8 million in funding “to create the future of fashion for the metaverse.”
The NFT startup secured the funds in a recent seed funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. With the sizeable new investment, RTFKT Studios plans to scale its team of three by hiring creators and artists, build an NFT marketplace, and invest in personnel to build a new virtual world. It’s a promising prospect given the impact RTFKT has already achieved with a skeleton team.
“RTFKT is leading the way in building the bridge between digital and physical fashion … As we spend more time in virtual worlds, I believe that we will care just as much about our digital sneakers and handbags as we do our physical ones,” explained Jonathan Lai of Andreessen Horowitz in a statement.“Over the past decade, games have evolved from entertainment into social networks — for many folks today, games are the new mall and sports bar.”
RTFKT aspires to build the first digital-first fashion label. As we spend more time in virtual worlds, we will care just as much about our digital sneakers / handbags as we do our physical ones
— Jon Lai (@Tocelot) May 4, 2021
Taking to Twitter yesterday, Lai teased RTFKT’s ambitions to build “Digital Supreme” — starting with sneakers. The studio has been dominating the digital sneaker space recently, dropping a new sneaker collaboration with Atari back in March and joining forces with 18-year-old artist Fewocious in a sale that fetched over $3 million in under 7 minutes.
According to WWD, the business has already racked up $4.5 million in revenue this year alone, far exceeding the $600,000 it pulled in 2020. Now, an $8 million could supercharge the start-up’s ascent. Speaking on the investment, RTFKT’s founder Benoit Pagotto said, “It’s our culture, and [we] are doing things differently. We’re super exclusive, yet have an open source approach to our content. We work with creators and empower them and give them revenue share.” He continued, “NFT allows us to combine all our expertise and community to create the future without having to worry about legacy or how things are done today.”
Pagotto describes his company as “a fashion company born from gaming,” and that’s likely to prove incredibly lucrative as the NFT market matures. When Highsnobiety recently surveyed our readers on gaming culture, we found that 60 percent had already purchased digital clothing/ skins for their avatars. Right now there aren’t many options for NFT sneakers and digital couture, but RTFKT is at the forefront of gamified luxury and they’re well-positioned to bridging the gap between those who are investing in NFTs and their digital avatars.