Rally, a New York-based app where users can trade shares of collectible assets, has raised $17 million in new funding, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Investors in the latest round include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Upfront Ventures, Raptor Group, Porsche Ventures and Global Brain.
The app, which launched in 2017 and has almost 200,000 users, says it has $15 million worth of assets in its catalog, according to The Journal. For assets that were bought off the platform, the average return for Rally members in the past year was 32%, co-founder Rob Petrozzo said.
Rally sources, verifies and acquires collectible items from around the world, then turns those items into “companies” via regulatory qualifications, then splits them into equity shares.
Rally users can then buy shares of the items for as little as $1 when an “initial offering” is held, wait 90 days, and then have one day to trade their shares, or buy more, before waiting another 90 days. Users can also purchase an item off Rally, with the money going to the item’s investors.
Most of Rally’s users are investing in alternative assets for the first time, Petrozzo also told The Journal.
The sports memorabilia market has surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic, headlined by the record-breaking $3.9 million sale of a Mike Trout rookie card in August.
Early in September, another platform that offers fractional shares of sports memorabilia — called Collectable — launched with the opportunity to buy $25 shares of a 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle card valued at $2.5 million. The company planned to roll out more than $30 million worth of assets in the future.
In 2018, the sports memorabilia market was estimated to be worth $5.4 billion, with eBay accounting for the bulk of the market at $4.7 billion. eBay has found unprecedented success in trading card sales alone this year — since the COVID-19 outbreak, basketball cards have become the most popular sports trading card, with sales rising 130% since the fourth quarter of 2019.