Seattle — When Danny Rimer learnt that an online sneaker marketplace called Goat was looking for investors to help expand its business selling must-have Nike Air Jordans and Adidas Yeezy, he suggested that his firm, Index Ventures, lead a $60m round. "It had become quite clear the sneaker market was really taking off and these guys had come up with a way to make it easy to browse and buy and sell sneakers," says Rimer, whose firm closed the round on Tuesday, bringing Goat’s funding total to $97.6m. "It very quickly became a phenomenon." Index is just the latest firm to develop a fetish for the $65bn footwear industry. While apparel sales are struggling overall, the sneaker market is thriving thanks to robust and enduring demand for limited-edition shoes and fashion sneakers. Plus it is a category that Amazon.com hasn’t devoured yet. In the last three years, venture capitalists have thrown $300m-plus at more than 20 footwear start-ups, which promise to make shopping for shoes online ...

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