The inception of Rares, a fintech startup, came with the purpose of turning sneakerheads from once just collectors to investors.

Having a love for kicks himself, former athlete Gerome Sapp took his insight of them being alternative assets and created a platform that gives back to the Black community by providing accessibility to the collectible sneaker space — leading them to build wealth off of being the pioneers of the culture — as previously reported by AfroTech.

Now, the social investing platform is creating even more room for sneaker enthusiasts to lock down wins in the market.

On April 5, Rares announced the addition of secondary market trading, according to a press release shared with AfroTech.

“Secondary trading has always been part of the product roadmap for Rares,” Sapp told AfroTech. “We want to provide users an opportunity to trade shares after sneakers IPOs are sold out, increasing the liquidity of the asset. Every day, sneakers continue to appreciate in value year after year, making them the perfect alternative asset for investors looking to diversify their portfolios. We hopped on the idea of making them more liquid not only in fashion but in the tech space. We’ve also wanted to offer our users a much easier way to own a sneaker while making money off of it.”

Rares' Secondary Market Trading

The platform’s new update will now allow users “to trade shares within Rares’ marketplace following sellout of the IPO without having to wait for an asset to go to auction for a payout.”

The Latest IPO

As AfroTech previously shared, history was made when Rares acquired Kanye West’s Grammy-worn Air Yeezy 1 Prototype sneakers and then sold them for $1.8 million — becoming the biggest individual sale of a pair of sneakers in auction history.

Now, the press release details that the platform’s most recent IPO — selling at $20 a share — is the Nike Airship. The sneakers are a 1984 version of what Michael Jordan rocked on the court as a rookie. Prior to the announcement, Rares has previously listed sneakers from the NBA legend’s brand. In 2021, Sapp shared with AfroTech that growing up he had an inkling of just how valuable Jordans could become.

“We always knew that Jordans were expensive, and I [myself] always knew that they would appreciate in value [one day],” he said. “I was an 80s baby, so we were the first generation that really made sneakers what they are in terms of value and popularity.”