Michael Jordan has joined the list of athletes investing in WatchBox, a site that allows people to buy, sell, and trade luxury watches.
WatchBox announced recently that it raised US$165 million of equity capital. Jordan joins the likes of Milwaukee Bucks’ MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Phoenix Suns’ Chris Paul and Devin Booker among others as investors.
WatchBox also welcomed three new additions to its board of directors, Jeff Saunders (CTO, Warby Parker), Eli Goldstein (Co-Founder, The Radcliff Companies), and David Berkman (Managing Partner, Associated Partners).
Justin Reis, WatchBox Co-Founder and Global CEO said: “Our investors and partners hail from a wide range of industries, from consumer to technology, finance and professional sports, yet we are all bound by our love of watches. When we founded WatchBox, our vision was to build a brand that would engender trust so that we could unite a passionate network of enthusiasts. With that foundation, we are now able to use technology to create the best customer experience in the industry.”
WatchBox was founded in 2017 in Philadelphia and became one of the leading platforms for collectable luxury timepieces. It offers the largest collection of pristine condition luxury watches, backed by a global warranty.
Since its founding, the company had reeled in US$260 million. WatchBox did not disclose its latest valuation, however, sources tell CNBC that it is rapidly approaching US$1 billion. The sources are anonymous as the valuation is private.
In an interview with CNBC, Reis said that the company is on pace for US$300 million in net revenue this year, and had already surpassed US$1 billion in total revenue since its creation. Furthermore, the co-founder said the company could seek an IPO in the future.
Interestingly, the secondary luxury watch market is booming as luxury watch brands such as Rolex and Richard Mille avoid increasing their supply to protect the scarcity of their products. In a report by consulting firm McKinsey, it estimates that the market for pre-owned luxury watches will hit US$32 billion by 2025.
WatchBox isn’t alone in trying to capitalise on the demand. Rivals like New York-based Hodinkee are also expanding for positioning in the secondary market. Hodinkee raised US$40 million in December from investors including NFL quarterback Tom Brady. The company launched its pre-owned watch shop in October to buy and sell watches produced after 1990.
WatchBox plans to use the cash to expand its digital platform and open collector lounges in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Dallas. International WatchBox locations include Dubai, Hong Kong and Switzerland, and Reis said the firm wants to reach 40 markets over the next three years.
Michael Jordan is also the highest-paid athlete of all time. Jordan had amassed over US$2.62 billion in career earnings. Most of his earnings had come from Nike royalties amounting to US$1 billion, the brand had been paying him since his retirement in 2003.
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