- In November, Nike had indicated that it was looking to quickly expand its footprint in the metaverse.
- Established in 2020 by Steven Vasilev, Chris Le, and Benoit Pagotto, RTFKT makes non-fungible token (NFT) virtual sneakers.
- Benoit Pagotto, the co-founder of RTFKT, said that the company is set to benefit from Nike's expertise to build communities.
Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) announced on Monday, December 14, that it is acquiring virtual sneaker company RTFKT. One of the most well-known shoemakers in the world, Nike did not disclose the amount of the deal, however, this move could be to become better-positioned in the rapidly evolving metaverse.
In November, Nike had indicated that it was looking to quickly expand its footprint in the metaverse. The Oregon-based company filed new trademarks to make and sell virtual sneakers and apparel.
The company's plan gained prominence after Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rebranded itself to Meta Platforms Inc.
What is RTKFT?
Established in 2020 by Steven Vasilev, Chris Le, and Benoit Pagotto, RTFKT makes non-fungible token (NFT) virtual sneakers, memes, and collectables.
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After the acquisition news, RTFKT released a statement on its website and according to Nike's chief executive officer (CEO) John Donahoe, this acquisition will accelerate the shoemaker's digital transformation and allow RTFKT to serve athletes and creators.
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Benoit Pagotto, the co-founder of RTFKT, said that the company is set to benefit from Nike's expertise to build communities and its foundational strength. Mr Pogotto added that the shoemaker is the only brand in the world that focus on innovation, community and creativity.
Notably, RTFKT uses augmented reality, NFT, blockchain technology, and in-game engines to create distinctive virtual sneakers and digital artefacts.
Metaverse hype continues to expand rapidly across the world, and projects exploring this space are most likely to attract the attention of enthusiasts and investors.
In February this year, RTFKT reportedly sold real and virtual sneakers in partnership with a teenage artist named FEWOCiOUS. Notably, the company sold 600 pairs of virtual sneakers worth US$ 3.1 million in just six minutes.
NFTs have become one of the most popular digital assets and they represent the ownership of digital collectables like videos and images, among other things.
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