Sports collectibles platform Alt seeks an infusion of $16.9 million in new funds to expand its sports card investment fund, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Alt also runs a collectibles exchange and storage business, backed by early venture capital funding from a number of investors, including Alexis Ohanian, Kevin Durant and Darren Rovell.
“For some context, the fund has raised ~$25M (the NAV of which is up quite a bit),” Alt founder Leore Avidar wrote in an email. “Not only is it the largest sports card/collectible fund but it’s outperformed the S&P and continues to have a low correlation to the S&P 500. We have purchased the top 1% assets in the card category and plan on doing quite a bit with the fund over the next two years.”
According to the SEC filing, posted last week, Alt secured its first commitment for the new round at the end of July. As a private offering to accredited investors—that is, people considered wealthy and savvy by the SEC—Alt isn’t required to disclose much more information than that publicly. Based solely on an SEC disclosure, Alt also filed in late July to raise money for a video game-focused fund, though dollar amounts for that aren’t disclosed.
Alt’s card brokerage and storage business has raised $305 million in venture capital money, according to data from Crunchbase, including a $75 million Round B in 2021 that included soccer star Alex Morgan, Tom Brady and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the subject of one of the Alt card fund’s early investments.
“We’ve done really well over the past two years having bought Giannis’ and Steph Curry’s best card the year they won the championship,” Avidar said. He didn’t respond to a follow-up request for specific fund performance and holdings information.
The market for sports collectibles, especially cards, enjoyed a resurgence with the pandemic; new records on card valuations were set seemingly every few weeks. Though 2022’s bear market in high-growth assets has led to a down year for collectible cards, as investor Nat Turner told Sportico’s JohnWallStreet, prices remain robust. At the start of the month a Honus Wagner card sold for $7.25 million through Goldin Auctions, the highest price ever paid for a sports card. The rise of Wagner’s valuation alone shows the great growth in investor demand—the Wagner card famously was the first to break the $1 million mark two decades ago.
The Alt fund, which will have over $40 million of invested capital when this new funding round closes, won’t just be locked away to appreciate.
“These cards are not meant to sit in a vault,” Avidar said in the email. “We plan on creating a pop-up museum of sorts at some point so people can see the amazing collection that we’ve put together. The fund will eventually live on the blockchain (we are going to tokenize it), and people will be able to buy and sell their interests in the fund.”
Avidar said that feature could be ready as soon as early 2024, adding, “you should be seeing a lot more news from us over the coming months as card prices keep setting records.”
(This story has corrected the amount raised by Alt to $306 million, and not $305 million, in the fourth paragraph.)