Card Ladder, an online price guide and analytics platform for popular graded sports cards, launched just 18 months ago, but the young startup has already been acquired by one of the hobby’s largest companies.
Collectors Universe, the parent firm of PSA, announced Thursday that it had acquired Card Ladder and will integrate its data.
“We’re deeply committed to investing in collection management and pricing tools that provide every collector with the best industry information available,” stated Nat Turner, Chairman and CEO of Collectors Universe. “Card Ladder’s sales data, tracking tools and innovative predictive pricing technology is a great addition to Collectors Universe.”
The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Founded by long-time collectors Chris McGill and Josh Johnson, Card Ladder currently tracks over 18,000 cards, including sales data from 15 industry sources as well as population reports from multiple card grading services.
“We created Card Ladder to provide collectors with tools they need to build collections that they love,” McGill remarked. “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.”
“Card Ladder has always been a passion project aimed at informing collectors so they can make the best decisions possible in one central, easy-to-use platform,” said Joshua Johnson, co-founder and CTO of Card Ladder. “We were collectors before we were professionals in this business, and our goals are to ensure the growth and long term sustainability of the hobby. We’re pleased to be joining Collectors Universe to continue pursuing those goals.”
The acquisition by one of the hobby’s grading companies doesn’t mean Card Ladder won’t be tracking cards graded by SGC or Beckett, however. CU says Card Ladder “will continue to remain agnostic with regards to data sources, grading companies and pricing in order to provide unbiased and transparent information for all collectors.”
CU says Card Ladder “will be further integrated into the overall PSA customer experience in the near future, including allowing PSA Set Registry members to see the Card Ladder estimated values for their inventory and sets.” More information on what that entails “will be released soon” according to CU.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Collectors Universe, which had to all but shut down new submissions after an enormous backlog of trading card submissions formed in the wake of massive new interest. Early this year, the once publicly traded company was sold to a private group headed by Turner along with New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and hedge fund billionaire Dan Sondheim at a cost of $853 million. Not long afterward, it acquired artificial intelligence software maker Genamint to upgrade its grading and authentication methods. In July, Collectors Holdings gobbled up Goldin Auctions. The company also expanded into video game grading with another acquisition.