By: Cordejha Lewis
RTFK made these A16z sneakers to celebrate a round of venture capital funding
During lockdown, Chris Le decided to begin the process of creating the virtual startup company
RTFKT. About a year following this decision, he became a multimillionaire selling virtual
sneakers. In under two years, RTFKT raised $9.5 million in venture capital. This caught the
attention of physical apparel brand Nike, which eventually led to the company purchasing
RTFKT. The digital apparel brand officially became a part of the Nike household on 13
December 2021. As NFT’s continue to popularize, many luxury brands are racing to make the
transition first, and well, Nike has just done so. Founded in 2020 by Chris Le, Benoit Pagotto
and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT merges gaming and fashion, specializing in the selling of virtual
sneakers as well as exclusive collectables for use in the metaverse’s many worlds. The brand
redefined the boundaries between physical and digital value to serve a wider range of creators.
Like Nike, RTFKT value with community building and pioneering technology made for an easy
transition to Nike’s ownership. What then does Nike get out of this large leap? Besides
expanding their brand, Nike may be gearing up to some possible upcoming NFT shoe drops that
are sure to turn the shoe industry on its head.
Nike’s website even features the Iconic swoosh symbol, jumpman, converse mark and now
RTFKT’s lightning bolt. Similarly on RTFKT’s website where users are prompted to get a
metamask wallet upon visiting the site. The idea behind the metamask is that at some point in the
very near future, this will be a way to enter other virtual spaces. Despite the fact that the terms of
the deal were not disclosed, RTFKT will continue its operation under Nike’s complete
ownership. Nike’s arrival into the metaverse will prove to be heavy competition no doubt.