It is by dint of playing the sneaker advisor for those around them that Michael holzmann and David Benhaim, street culture enthusiasts, have decided to create a platform for everyone to find basketball at their feet. Launched in 2018, Wethenew makes it easy to afford models in limited editions, not with classic e-commerce sites, but by digging into the intricacies of online resale.
This second-hand market is experiencing a spectacular boom and has already served as a breeding ground for the creation of several specialized marketplaces, with American heavyweights like StockX or Goat. “But these sites are aimed primarily at real sneaker enthusiasts who know the codes of this universe. We propose a general public approach so that everyone can afford limited editions, which have become more and more difficult to find because there is a huge demand and almost instantaneous shortages ”, traces David Benhaïm.
The key step in authentication
Wethenew thus takes customers by the hand, with educational content on the interest of each model, and offers a purchase price set by an algorithm analyzing live odds at all partner resellers.
Once the order has been placed, the site obtains the desired pair and has its condition and authenticity checked by its experts before delivering it to your home, being remunerated by taking a commission. “This is a key step because there are a lot of scams on resale sites and forums, we have paid the price ourselves”, smiles Michael Holzmann. “We want to make the experience as simple and transparent as possible. “
A range of VIP investors
After supporting more than 100,000 customers since the launch, the two twenty-seven-year-old friends hope to double this figure this year. “We want to reach a business volume of 100 million euros by the end of 2021. We have multiplied by 3 or 4 our turnover every year since the creation, the goal has been to continue this momentum ”, launch the co-founders, without giving any amount.
To achieve this, it is their turn to be accompanied. They just completed a fundraising of 10 million euros with the young French investment fund Singular and a handful of VIP business angels, in order to complete a funding round formed during a first fundraising, in 2019. We thus find Christian Jorge, the co-founder of Vestiaire Collective, Gary Anssens, the founder of Alltricks (the “Amazon of cycling”) or the basketball player Frank Ntilikina, player of the New York Knicks and the France team.
A brand, a place and an international ambition
With this new money, Wethenew counts double its workforce by 60 people within eighteen months, increase its presence on social networks to democratize the fashion of limited editions, while being present in the real world.
After installing a pop-up store at Galeries Lafayette at the end of 2020, the company launched its clothing brand, even signing a collaboration with the American Champion. “And this summer we are going to open a drop-off point in the heart of Paris which will offer an immersive experience to our resellers”, announce the co-founders – who are now looking beyond France, with Germany and Italy in the sights. “These are two countries with a strong sneaker culture and we already have a lot of customers and resellers there. “ A way to accelerate the pace for “To become a leader in Europe”.
Lhe sneaker resale phenomenon
Riding on the success of sneakers around the world, brands like Nike and Adidas are increasing the number of models in limited editions, playing on collaborations with other brands, designers or artists to create the event. The demand for these models is such that, more and more, customers must enter sweepstakes to “earn” the right to purchase them. Many of these pairs, still new, then end up on resale sites, where enthusiasts raise the stakes on the most coveted pairs. In a global sneaker market valued at nearly $ 115 billion, the resale market already weighs several billion, and promises to grow even further.