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Poshmark’s Now in the Sneaker Authentication Business

Peer-to-peer market platform Poshmark has made its first acquisition, buying virtual sneaker authentication firm Suede One.

The transaction reflects the Poshmark’s focus on strategic investments to accelerate growth momentum in fast-growing resale categories including sneakers and luxury.

“We are laser focused on making strategic investments that fuel the continued growth of our business, give the best overall experience for buyers and make our marketplace the number one, most trusted destination for sellers,” Poshmark founder and CEO Manish Chandra said. “Suede One has built impressive capabilities in virtual authentication that will allow us to deliver tangible benefits to our community, scale our authentication services in a meaningful way, and accelerate our momentum in sneakers as well as luxury goods, two of the fastest-growing categories in the resale space.”

Poshmark said Suede One’s authentication capabilities will complement Posh Protect, its full refund guarantee for items that fail to match its listing description, and Post Authenticate, the free authentication service for orders of $500 or more.

“With this acquisition, Poshmark will be able to augment and scale these services to support both buyers and sellers on more transactions and begin offering virtual authentication for sneakers at multiple price points, with the potential to expand to additional categories,” it said.

Coming to market just last year, Suede One automatically authenticates the majority of popular sneaker submissions, such as Jordan 1s and Yeezy 350s, with greater than 99percent accuracy. For other sneaker types, human experts review the submission using a proprietary authentication tool.

“Suede One has built a reputation for credible and quick authentication with the broader resale community as well as esteemed resellers, authenticating a pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes that sold for $1.8 million at auction,” Poshmark said.

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Suede One’s technology enables an inventory-less approach to authentication by combining machine learning, computer vision and expert human review to authenticate items. The process includes analyzing product images and running algorithms to identify whether the item is real or counterfeit.

“We built this company to solve a key challenge for the reseller community—creating technology that protects them from fraud and ensures fast, accurate authentication that they can rely on,” said Matt Forloine, Suede One CEO.

Poshmark, which went public in January, earlier this month added a My Shoppers clienteling feature replicating the experience of an in-store retail associate in an online selling environment. Sellers using My Shoppers can personalize the shopping experience to buyers, whether personalized styling or specific offers to generate a sale. The platform also introduced Closet Insights, a dashboard providing sellers with real-time day-to-day inventory, sales, merchandising and pricing data. This information can help sellers make adjustments to their business strategy to drive a higher rate of sales.