Collectible card exchange platform Alt raises $ 75 million as it considers other asset classes, prepares for mobile launch – TechCrunch
When we last checked in with Alt in March, he had just raised $ 31 million for its Alternative Asset Platform – a platform, so far, used primarily by those looking to securely find, trade and store high value sports cards. A few months later, the company raised a $ 75 million Series B from a roster of leading professional investors and athletes, made some big hires, and is preparing to launch its mobile app, all while starting to expand the reach of alternative assets. that covers.
While Alt’s original focus was on sports cards – a category founder Leore Avidar is quite familiar with – it has recently expanded to support other types of collectible cards. Browse through his trade and you’ll already find the first edition of Charizards and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in the mix with rare Kobes cards and autographed Kaepernick cards. Over time, they seek to expand beyond cards and other alternative assets.
“Our goal is to be in things from sneakers and watches to NFTs,” Avidar tells me, referring to sports cards as their “point of proof”.
To sell a card on Alt, its condition must first be judged by one of the already well-established rating groups (PSA, BGS, or SGC), then sent to Alt’s “Vault” – a light-controlled fire. and temperature. secure facility that the company casually calls “the Fort Knox of the cards.” Once there, ownership can be instantly transferred from buyer to buyer (Alt taking a 1.5% discount on each sale.) By default, purchased cards remain in the safe; owners are free to take their cards out of the safe and have them shipped to them, but Avidar tells me “99%” of the cards stay in the safe after a transaction. They mainly buy these cards as investments, not for display. I’m also told that Alt users have so far stored over $ 70 million worth of cards in the vault.
Alt shares much of the data it has on the cards; his market trends The pages showcase the categories that have proven to be the most popular in recent weeks and highlight players whose cards have seen the biggest value changes over the past seven days. The individual listings show the prices at which a given card has sold in the past year and offer an “Alt value” – an estimate of Zestimate-style value based on all recent transaction data to which Alt has access.
Alt’s team is growing fairly quickly, with Avidar noting that the company currently has around 60 employees. Notably, he recently hired Nicole Colombo, previously eBay’s general manager of collectibles and collectible cards, as its first president.
The next step in the company’s roadmap? Launch of its mobile application. After spending his life so far in the browser, Alt says his iOS and Android apps are expected to launch later this month. It’s pictured at the top, but here’s another image of what it will look like:
Meanwhile, the company is quietly exploring a new source of income – lending money to users, with loans secured by the cards the user has stored with Alt. Avidar points out that banks generally won’t view things like sports card collections as “real collateral”; Alt, meanwhile, has a pretty deep understanding of the value of a given card on a day-to-day basis – and since the cards are in Alt’s vault, they can assume that those cards aren’t just going to go away. or be suddenly damaged. Calling the program “Alternative loan“, the team notes that it is currently in beta and is only open to certain users at the moment.
The company tells me that this round was lifted at a valuation of “over $ 325 million”. The round was led by Spearhead (a new type of fund co-created by Jeff Fagnan and Naval Ravikant. We featured Spearhead here), and supported by Seven Seven Six, Vibe Capital, Breyer Capital, Shrug Capital, Apollo Projects (Max and Sam from Altman solidify, not our new corporate overlords of a similar name), Hyperguap, A *, and a number of individual investors – including a few big names in the sport, like Tom Brady, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Alex Morgan, Candace Parker and Marlon Humphrey.