- Nora Veerman |
Platform for virtual fashion Rtfkt has raised a total amount of 8 million dollars (converted 6.7 million euros) in an investment round, according to a press release in the hands of Business of Fashion. The investment is intended to expand the team and further expand the online platform, Business of Fashion writes.
Rtfkt specializes in virtual sneakers and accessories. The company has been around for almost a year and a half, and the three international founders, Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, are the only full-time employees left. This should include designers and gaming experts. With the investment, Rtfkt wants to further develop an app and support other digital designers. “Our main long-term goal is to create a platform where we can attract new creatives,” said Vasilev. "In the future, we will see NFTs as keys or passports for experiences, games or virtual events."
The investment round was led by venture capital firm Adreessen Horowitz. “Rtfkt is a frontrunner in connecting digital and physical fashion. As we spend more and more time in virtual worlds, I expect we will care as much about digital sneakers and handbags as we do about physical items, ”said Jonathan Lai, partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Lai thinks that this has to do with the development of games - they are not only more entertainment, but often also function as social networks. "For many people, games are the new shopping center and sports café."
Rtfkt benefits from growth in virtual fashion
Rtfkt was launched in January 2020 and turned profitable the same year. The company was able to tap into the growing focus on non-fungible tokens (also known as non-replaceable tokens or NFTs); At a peak time this winter, it sold 3.1 million dollars worth of virtual sneaker tokens within seven minutes, developed in collaboration with artist Fewocious. The company also entered into a partnership with the Dutch The Fabricant. The items from that collaboration were sold out in fifteen minutes. Rtfkt sales for 2021 are currently estimated at 4.5 million dollars, up from 600,000 dollars in the year of its inception.
The mainstream fashion world is also increasingly venturing into gaming. Just last week, Pull & Bear launched its own game, following the likes of Gucci and Burberry, and presented Uniqlo and Havaianas collections inspired by popular video games.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL, translated and edited to English.