Avocado, founded in Detroit, is a first-of-its-kind digital platform that connects brands, influencers, and audiences to China. It aims to create lasting relationships and experiences that break through cultural and geographic barriers.
Within Avocado’s platform, leading brands can communicate, grow, and manage their relationships with their audiences. In addition, Avocado’s content creators can promote limited-edition items and exclusive drops, such as the NBA x Jack & Jones China streetwear drop. The company also partnered with Cristiano Ronaldo, a Portuguese soccer player.
The vision for Avocado came from Detroit native Joe Crawford, who was a star basketball player at Renaissance High School before going on to play for the University of Kentucky. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008 and ended up playing for the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) shortly after.
“Avocado gives the world’s best content creators full artistic freedom, while simultaneously delivering uninterrupted shopping experiences for audiences mid-stream, putting premium entertainment, fashion, and lifestyle products directly into the hands and hearts of fans,” says Crawford.
“In building our platform vision, I’ve woven in my lifelong experience from creative freedoms and athleticism of childhood to the structure, education, and focus that came from performing with the best. It’s all coming together seamlessly, giving Avocado real understanding and support of our talent and brand partners with integrity through each groundbreaking opportunity.”
Throughout his athletic career, Crawford says he recognized how hard work could deliver successful results and created Avocado as a platform that allows people to monetize opportunities that come from their dedication.
“To succeed, you’ve always got to be ready to take a leap of faith,” says Crawford, 34. “But most important is knowing you’ve got a network you can trust to share your morals, vision, and ethics, and with Avocado, we’re really levelling that playing field.”
Crawford has also worked to develop seller relationships for Detroit’s StockX, and online stock market for fashion and other products.
Joining Crawford is Australian native Samuel Pearton, who is part of Avocado’s international team. Pearton has more than 10 years of experience working with some of the world’s leading celebrities and facilitating clothing and e-commerce efforts to China.
During his time in China, he discovered that one of the rarest delicacies to find in local markets were avocados, hence the company name.
Avocado has recently completed an initial fundraise with shareholders including 2020 Ventures, an early investor in Airbnb and Spotify, along with other offices across America and Asia Pacific.