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Polychain, Pantera Lead $10M Investment in Metaverse Fashion House

Space Runners is the first metaverse-only fashion house, but various IRL brands are migrating to the virtual world too.

2 min read
Metaverse is a fast growing industry. Image: Shutterstock.

Metaverse fashion house Space Runners has raised $10 million in a seed funding round led by investment firm Polychain Capital and asset managers Pantera. 

Space Runners prides itself on being the metaverse's "first dedicated fashion brand" and, at the end of last year, it collaborated with NBA players Kyle Kuzma and Nick Young to release wearable "NBA Champion" sneaker NFTs

The "NBA Champion" collection sold 10,000 NFTs in the space of nine minutes and will likely help to finance Space Runner's vision of "an end-to-end Fashion Metaverse on Blockchain." 

The brand describes itself as a designer and purveyor of "digitally wearable NFTs through Augmented Reality (AR), collaborating with celebrities and brands." It hints that NFT holders will get various real-life perks too, including the chance to meet and greet Space Runners' athletic and celebrity collaborators. 

According to the company's official roadmap, Space Runners also plans to launch its own blockchain this year, which will underlie the metaverse it is developing. The blockchain will be represented by its native SPACE token. 

Other participants in Space Runners' seed round included Animoca chairman Yat Siu and Twitch co-founder Justin Kan.

Fashion in the Metaverse

The nascent metaverse has already attracted some of the biggest names in fashion to open up virtual storefronts. 

In the summer last year, Dolce & Gabbana partnered with digital marketplace UNXD to launch a collection of NFT wearables called "Collezione Genesi" (Genesis collection). Gucci also bought real estate in The Sandbox and confirmed that it would be selling wearables from a virtual storefront.

Sportswear giants have also been keen to jump on the emerging NFT economy. 

At the end of last year, Adidas announced high-profile collaborations with Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney, and PUNKS Comic, the fruits of which netted $23 million. The brand also bought virtual real estate in The Sandbox and announced a Coinbase partnership as part of its metaverse pivot. 

Nike isn't far behind either. Before last Christmas, the company announced it had acquired RTFKT Studios, a digital art studio focusing on sneaker-themed NFTs. The news came shortly after it became known that Nike had submitted four filing requests to trademark virtual goods with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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