Kevin Durant and a pair of FanDuel co-founders are among those going in on 2020’s sports card boom via a seed-round investment in card marketplace StarStock. The company announced Monday that it had raised $1.3 million in seed funding “to fuel the company’s growth plans.” Participants in the round include NBA all-star Kevin Durant and long-time veteran guard Matthew Dellavedova, Rich Kleiman of Thirty Five Ventures, FanDuel co-founders, Nigel and Lesley Eccles, Jeremy Levine of Founder’s First Fund and A.J. Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerSports.
Founded in November 2019, StarStock currently has nearly 200,000 cards for sale in its centralized storage facility, allowing users to buy and sell rights to cards without having to deal with shipping. Individuals are able to mail parts of their collection to StarStock and have purchased cards sent from the company. StarStock takes a 5% fee from sellers. Many transactions are made for cards worth less than $10, but some deals have stretched into the thousands of dollars.
“I’ve seen the inefficiencies first-hand of the sports trading card market,” StarStock co-founder and CEO Scott Greenberg said. “StarStock aims to create a frictionless market for fans to trade athletes.”
“What we’re experiencing today I have never experienced my entire life, let alone in my career at PSA and Collectors Universe,” Joe Orlando, CEO of Collectors Universe, the largest grading and authentication company in sports memorabilia, told Sportico in September. “It’s the most exciting time that I’ve ever been a part of this hobby.” Weeks earlier, a Mike Trout rookie card sold for a record-setting $3.9 million. Collectors Universe’s stock price has nearly tripled over the last year.
“As a life-long sports fan, it’s been incredible to watch how tech has changed the way we trade memorabilia and created a revamped culture around trading cards,” said Rich Kleiman, another new SportStock investor and co-founder of Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures. “There is an immense opportunity to take sports memorabilia to the masses.”