Collectibles grading giant Collectors Universe is buying Card Ladder, a sports card price and data company. The deal, being announced later today, is the second acquisition in recent months by Collectors Universe, which is co-owned by Mets owner Steve Cohen.
Card Ladder is a repository of vetted card sales and trading card population data, two pieces of information highly valued by collectors in building and managing their collections. The company began operations in June 2020, founded by social media card enthusiasts Joshua Johnson and Chris McGill. The operation collects information on more than 18,000 cards from 15 industry sources and compiles population reports—i.e. how many cards exist and in what condition—from multiple grading services. Subscribers pay $15 a month to access all of Card Ladder’s offerings.
“We’re deeply committed to investing in collection management and pricing tools that provide every collector with the best industry information available,” Nat Turner, chairman and CEO of Collectors Universe, said in a statement. “Card Ladder’s sales data, tracking tools and innovative predictive pricing technology is a great addition to Collectors Universe.”
Card Ladder will remain agnostic in regards to data and grading sources, even as part of Collectors Universe, which owns PSA, a large grading and authentication service. “We share Collectors Universe’s vision of leveraging technology to enhance and grow the industry for the benefit of every collector, while prioritizing trust and complete transparency above all else,” McGill said in a statement. People who use PSA Set Registry, a service to organize PSA-graded items, will soon see Card Ladder estimated values for their holdings integrated into the service, according to the company.
The purchase, financials details of which aren’t being disclosed, follows on a July deal that brought Ken Goldin into the fold, when parent entity Collectors Holdings bought Goldin Auctions. Collectors Universe was purchased by Mets owner Cohen, venture capitalist Turner and hedge fund billionaire Dan Sondheim for $853 million in a deal that closed early this year. In addition to PSA, Goldin Auctions and Card Ladder, the collectibles conglomerate owns Wata Games, which grades and authenticates video games; PSA/DNA Authentication Services, which focuses on autographs and non-card memorabilia; as well as the numismatic ventures, Professional Coin Grading Service and Coin Exchange.