Firms that are retailing or providing a platform for sellers of collectible sneakers are raising big amounts of venture capital, according to the New York Times.  Stadium Goods, a consignment reseller, raised $4.6 million from Forerunner Ventures last year.  And GOAT (from Greatest of All Time) has raised a total of $97.6 million from individual investors including Ashton Kutcher and venture capital firms including Accel Partners and Upfront Ventures.  After a merger with Flight Club, a sneaker consignment shop, earlier this year, GOAT is now valued at $250 million.

Sales are booming, both in the U.S. and in China, where collectible sneakers have taken off.  Stadium Goods generated $100 million in total transactions worldwide last year.  StockX, a third major company, which offers an exchange-type platform but verifies the products sold before sending them on to the buyer, is generating $2 million a day in transactions, according to the report.  Not all sales are made through large platforms, with boutique sellers also in the market.

Although an occasional pair would turn up from time to time, collectible sneakers got a higher profile at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012, when Bait started displaying sneakers and urban vinyl figures in a gallery-type setting (see "Where Sneakerhead and Vinyl Culture Meet").  With major venture funding now in the category, another jump in visibility for the hobby is underway.