Novelship raises series A funding to ignite sneaker and streetwear culture in Asia

May 27, 2022

Novelship, Asia’s fastest-growing marketplace for limited-edition sneakers, streetwear and collectibles, announced that the company has raised close to US$ 10 million in Series A funding co-led by GSR Ventures, East Ventures, with participation by K3 Ventures, and iGlobe Partners. Since its inception in 2018, Novelship has been able to serve customers across APAC with the sales volume growing at a staggering rate of 5.3X in 2021.

Staying true to its DNA, Novelship continues to understand the pulse of Gen Z, the latest trends from across the globe, and culturally relevant moments to provide its customers in Asia with the latest releases and limited-edition products from brands such as Nike, Air Jordan, Yeezy, and Supreme, to name a few.

“The sneaker and streetwear market has a huge potential globally and Novelship is uniquely positioned to win not just in the region but across the globe: we have cracked the code in Asia and are building on this success to reach a global footprint. Street culture is one of the rare opportunities in retail that has a global community of loyalists and we intend to capitalize on this to fast-track expansion. We have recently raised our series A funding with some of the best investors and mentors in the space today: East Ventures, GSR Ventures, K3 Ventures, and iGlobe partners have joined the Novelship family. Their deep experience in the region, insights in e-commerc,e and vast connections will help us serve more customers across APAC and the world,” said Richard Xia, CEO of Novelship. 

Novelship estimates that APAC’s sneaker and streetwear market, which has witnessed a growth spurt during the pandemic, is estimated at US$ 33 billion. Novelship’s expansion plans, which are firstly focused on Asia before broader expansion, is precisely aimed at capturing this fast-growing category dominated by Gen Zs. With a stronghold across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, Novelship’s series A funding is aimed at their leadership position in these markets and adding more APAC markets to its fold. Already leading the market with its introduction of crypto payments, Novelship will continue to explore metaverse integration and brand partnerships in the retail space.

Willson Cuaca, Managing Partner of East Ventures said, “I have been a frequent user of Novelship and I believe that as sneaker culture continues to grow rapidly in Asia, Novelship is well placed to command a true influence in the streetwear market and be one of the most popular marketplaces amongst Gen Z’s. We believe in the founders and are excited to support Novelship in the next phase of its growth.” 

“The goal has always been about listening to our customers and obsessing on providing them with an exceptional customer experience,” Richard said. Listening to their most loyal customers in a recently completed customer survey, Novelship introduced the use of cryptocurrencies as an alternate payment option. Since the start of this pilot, Novelship were able to serve more high-value customers, thus increasing the average order value per customer. Over US$ 200,000 worth of sneakers have been bought in digital tokens in this period.

“There is a fast-growing need for personalized expressions from Gen Z and millennial consumers in Asia. We believe that Novelship is creating a unique platform that can potentially be the one-stop marketplace to fulfill their emotional needs, in the physical and the virtual world. We are delighted to support Richard and his team at Novelship.” said Jefferson Chen, Partner of GSR Ventures.