Pantera and Polychain Place $10M Bet on Metaverse Fashionistas


Metaverse fashion brand Space Runners has raised $10 million in a funding round co-led by Polychain and Pantera Capital.

The seed round was also announced Monday by Jump Crypto and Accel, along with angels such as Yat Siu, Animoca Brands chairman, and Justin Kan, Twitch cofounder.

High fashion and prestigious wearables in the metaverse – an immersive environment composed of virtual worlds, gaming and decentralized commerce – is becoming a big deal, with Ethereum-based Decentraland due to host its first Metaverse Fashion Week later this month.

Space Runners were launched its first NBA Champions Sneaker Collection with former NBA champions Kyle Kuzma and Nick Young last December, began minting NFTs on the Solana blockchain, but now plans to bring its vision of a “fashion metaverse” to Ethereum and other chains.

A pair virtual kicks. (Space Runners)

“We are designing and launching fashion items as NFT collections, which is ongoing,” Space Runners CEO Deniz Özgür said in an interview. “But we are also launching the first phase of our fashion metaverse. Rather than just an urban cyber style, we are giving more weight to beauty and aesthetics, and we’ve been collaborating with some of the most popular fashion agencies in New York.”

Space Runners’ fashion metaverse will not cohabit existing virtual worlds, but will be a separate space, known as “Spaceverse,” with its own currency, Özgür explained. It’s a proposal that can’t come fast enough for crypto and NFT-beguiled fashion brands keen to stake out a spot in a metaverse setting, she said.

“Many of the fashion brands we’ve been in touch with come with great stories,” said Özgür. “Like they want to build some kind of connection between their physical shops and their digital spaces and are coming up with ideas like putting a QR code in fashion items that is a gem or something like that for gamification with their customers.”

Pantera Capital partner Paul Veradittakit said Space Runners’ vision is paving a new way to interact with fashion on the blockchain.

“Fashion will be just as – if not more – important in the metaverse than in the real world,” Veradittakit said in a statement.

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