US-based StarStock, a marketplace for sports fans and card hobbyists to buy, sell and invest in their favourite athletes, raised US$ 8M in a Series A funding round on 1 April 2021.
Investors: The funding round was led by Andreesen Horowitz, a California-based venture capital firm that invests in early to late-stage technology companies. Other participants included Trae Young, the Atlanta Hawks guard – Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch – Ilkka Paananen, co-founder of SuperCell and Ryan Spoon – chief operating officer at BetMGM and former senior vice president at ESPN. StarStock has raised US$ 10 million to date.
Purpose of the funding: The funds raised will be utilized by StarStock to improve its marketplace, launch a mobile app and expand its team of 35. It will hire software engineers, developers and people to process the cards.
Founded by Mike Kuchera, Nigel Eccles and Scott Greenberg, StarStock aims to enable sports fans to instantly trade cards like never before. Every card on its website is secured in StarStock’s vault and is covered by insurance and 24/7 security. The platform provides instant ownership at the point of trade, so there is no wait for shipping. The company is headquartered in New York.
The platform has nearly 900,000 cards listed on its marketplace. People can send individual cards or sealed, unopened boxes to StarStock. It then processes those cards, insures them, takes digital photos to post on the website and holds them in a vault. These cards are then offered for sale on the marketplace. StarStock receives a 5 percent commission on each sale. Buyers can either let StarStock keep the cards in the vault or pay a shipping fee to send them via post. The startup claims that more than 600,000 cards have been sold through its marketplace and it adds more than 50,000 cards to the marketplace each week.
What the founders have to say: “By keeping your cards in our vault. It means you have your entire card collection at your fingertips on your phone or laptop whenever you want. You’re always able to list that card on the marketplace and sell it at the best time. We took this as a good opportunity to go out and raise money so we can continue to hire and scale up the team and continue to build out the product.” — Scott Greenberg.
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