Chronicled, a Californian technology company founded in 2014 that leverages blockchain technology specifically for the authentication, tracking and social engagement of vintage and collectible sneakers has announced $3,425,000 in additional funding raised as a part of its Series Seed financing.
The round was led by Hong Kong-based venture capital firm Mandra Capital. It also saw participants from investors such as Pantera Capital, a leading blockchain-tech investor and New York-based Colbeck. The three investors have also participated in previous funding rounds established by Chronicled.
Founded in September 2014, San Francisco-based Chronicled has since developed a platform that helps completely authentic products to be tagged, verified, registered and transferred in trade, from a mobile app. The technology works via proprietary ‘smart-tags’ that are physically inserted into the relevant products or in this case, shoes. The tags can be displayed externally or hidden inside the shoe without affecting usability.The smart-tags are linked to the mobile application which connects to an open registry via blockchain technology.
Dan Morehead, a partner at Pantera Capital revealed the reasons behind his firm’s repeated investments in Chronicled. He cited a strong engineering team and the ability to deliver on operational milestones as key factors, besides the promise of blockchain technology with the advent of the Internet of Things. In a statement, he said:
Collectible and vintage sneakers are just the beginning. The intersection of the consumer Internet of Things and blockchain is going to be a big trend over the next decade.
He also added:
Authenticity verification and provenance of luxury goods and other physical items is a huge untapped market, and due to privacy concerns, consumers will want to own the data history associated with their physical property, which is a benefit of a blockchain-based back end.
The company claims that the technology will benefit three core audiences who have a vested interest in authentic vintage and collectible speakers. They are collectors, seeking to eliminate doubt of authenticity during and after purchase; retailers, who can sell the products and authenticity tags at their counters; and finally brands, who can begin to design smart tags into products directly as a feature more than a novelty.
The company also claimed that since its soft launch at CES 2016, Chronicled has already authenticated thousands of pairs of collectible sneakers. Authenticity tags or ‘smart tags’ are also being offered to consumers at shoe conventions and select retailers.
One particular area of focus for blockchain-based authentication will be Asian markets, hinted Song-Yi Zhang of Mandra Capital. In a statement, he revealed:
Markets in US and Asia alike have been in need of such a solution for a very long time, and we see great opportunity for this technology in our region.
Vintage and high-end sneakers alone account for upwards of some $1 billion in annual transactions in a collectible consumer goods market that exceeds $1 trillion in annual transactions.
Chronicled aims to launch its sneaker authentication service in April 2016 in the NYC area, to begin with.
Images from Shutterstock and Chronicled.