Alt Scores $75M to Build the ‘Next Generation’ of Alternative Investments
On Thursday, card trading platform Alt announced it raised a massive $75 million Series B round, unveiling several big plans for its future in the larger alternative assets space. The investment was led by VC firm Spearhead, with participation from Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six and a smattering of sports legends including Tom Brady, Kevin Durant and Candace Parker.
“We’re really excited to partner with some of the industry’s best operators and globally recognized athletes, to make Alt the destination where culture and finance connect,” founder and CEO Leore Avidar said in a recent blog post. “As pioneers in the alternative asset space we wanted to do something innovative with our own cap table that felt authentic to what we’re building.”
And what Alt is building is essentially a site on which everything is treated as an investable asset, starting with trading cards as a sort of “proof of concept.” The platform launched with just sports cards, and has quickly expanded to things like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards as well. Over the next few years, the startup says it plans to roll out other asset classes to support everything from watches, to NFTs and even LP interests.
Alt also runs its own market trends page that charts out the fluctuating value of the assets on its site. Soon, the company would like to use the data it collects to roll out a money lending program, using the assets users invest in as a sort of collateral — something traditional banks don’t do.
“Where the banks stop, Alt starts,” Nicole Colombo, who was recently hired as Alt’s president, said in the blog post. “We want to be the financial platform for the next generation of assets.”
Of course, Alt is joining an industry that has grown increasingly crowded over the last year. StarStock, a “stock market for sports cards,” got an $8 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz in the spring, closely followed by Rally, a platform that lets users buy fractional shares of everything from the Declaration of Independence to a $350,000 lunar meteorite, which got $30 million from Accel. Yieldstreet and Masterworks have also recently pulled in nine-figure rounds of their own for their unique takes on alternative investments.
While the space is certainly busy, Alt has managed to grow quite a bit since its launch just last year, claiming its customers have added more than $200 million in assets to their portfolios.
Later this month the startup will launch its mobile app, which will allow users to track the value of their cards, share their collections, find new cards and make transactions more easily. Alt also appears to be in a bit of a hiring spree, with more than a dozen open tech positions available at its NYC headquarters.