PE Tech Report


Like this article?

Sign up to our free newsletter

The Chernin Group invests USD40m in Goldin Auctions

Goldin Auctions, a marketplace for collectibles and trading cards, has raised ~USD40 million in growth financing from The Chernin Group (TCG), a multi-stage investment firm known for building and investing in emerging consumer businesses in the media, commerce and technology industries.

Goldin Auctions will use the funding to invest in technology, operations and audience development to further build upon the trust the company has established with buyers and sellers on its platform. The investment is being made amidst record growth for both Goldin Auctions and the industry overall as collectors increasingly view collectibles and trading cards as both a fun hobby and a valuable alternative investment. The collectibles market is now valued at more than USD10 billion in annual transactions.

Ross Hoffman, who has held senior positions at Twitter, Google and Headspace, is also joining Goldin Auctions as its new CEO. He will oversee the development of innovative new products and experiences that will redefine the collectibles industry and further cement the company’s reputation as the trusted leader in trading cards and memorabilia. Hoffman will run the day-to-day operations of the business alongside founder Ken Goldin, one of the most widely recognised leaders in the collectibles industry, who is moving into the new position of Executive Chairman and Founder. In this new role, Goldin will leverage his extensive knowledge, history and relationships in the collectibles industry to help lead the company’s continued growth.

“The collectibles industry has come a long way over the last 40 years and its popularity today is the result of enthusiastic, passionate and knowledgeable collectors,” says Goldin. “With the help and expertise of our new partners, we plan to always prioritise our consignors and buyers by providing them the safest and easiest way to trade these amazing and valuable assets. As a result, we’re confident that we’ll help oversee the continued growth and expansion of the industry as a whole.”

“Ken and his team have built an incredible business and he is an icon in the hobby,” says Hoffman. “At the core, what they have built is trust: sellers trust us that they will get the right price and buyers trust us that they will get authentic merchandise. We authenticate everything we sell and we verify every bidder’s ability to purchase. The collectibles industry has one of the world’s most engaged and rapidly growing audiences. By building upon the trusted marketplace Goldin is known for with new technology, operations and content, we aim to make things easier, safer and faster for everyone in the hobby, old and new.” 

“At TCG, we focus on identifying high-growth sectors and then investing in the best businesses that we believe will define the category. We noticed the explosive interest in the collectibles industry and we went very deep looking for the best companies and executives — Goldin Auctions very quickly stood out as the leader in the space,” says TCG Co-founder and Partner Jesse Jacobs. “We are investing in Ken’s vision, credibility and experience as well as Ross’s leadership. We are thrilled to be on team Goldin as it continues to give back to the community and provide more great resources, content, cards and memorabilia for its collectors.”

TCG has developed a reputation for partnering with companies that have a strong track record of fostering authentic relationships with highly-engaged audiences. The firm invests in emerging and notable businesses, including popular companies Barstool Sports, The Action Network, Hodinkee, Exploding Kittens, Food52, Scopely, Headspace, Surfline and Cameo.

In addition to TCG, several notable individuals and firms have joined the funding round including Adam Bain and Dick Costolo from 01 Advisors; Mark Cuban; Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman from Thirty Five Ventures; LightShed Ventures, led by Rich Greenfield; YouTube Co-founder Chad Hurley; Craft Ventures Co-Founder Bill Lee; musician and record producer Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley; Christian Oestlien, VP Product at YouTube; entrepreneur and creator Logan Paul; Anthony Pompliano of Pomp Investments; Shiva Rajaraman, VP Product, Facebook; Zillow and Hotwire Co-Founder Spencer Rascoff; Bill Simmons, Founder and CEO of The Ringer; Dwyane Wade of Wade Ventures; Mark Wahlberg; and NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson from Bleecker Trading.

Ken founded Goldin Auctions in 2012 and built the company from a start-up grossing USD800,000 in its first year to over USD100 million in 2020. To date, Goldin Auctions has overseen more than USD300 million in sales. Last month, the company shattered the industry record for the largest sports collectibles auction ever, completing USD33 million in sales for over 1,000 items, including incredibly rare Michael Jordan, Patrick Mahomes and Mickey Mantle trading cards. Goldin has been in the collectibles industry his entire life and has forged relationships with legendary figures including Shaquille O’Neal, Muhammad Ali, Joe Montana, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Barry Bonds, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wayne Gretzky and many others. 

Prior to joining Goldin Auctions, Hoffman served for seven years as Vice President of Partnerships at Twitter, where he led the company’s Global Content Partnerships & Brand Strategy team and helped drive USD750 million of revenue annually. Before that, he held the title of Business Development & Strategic Partnership Manager at Google, overseeing YouTube’s first live streaming team. He most recently served as Chief Business Officer at popular meditation app Headspace, where he helped diversify and grow the business to more than USD100 million in revenue.

Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter