Card collectors often dispute how much their cards are worth. New Jersey-based CollX provides a free iOS and Android app to card enthusiasts that allows them to scan their trading cards and get value in return.
Launched in January last year, the app has now more than 600,000 users who have scanned more than 100 million cards. CEO Ted Mann told TechCrunch over a call that the company has made a proprietary database of more than 20 million cards ranging from Pokemon to sports that helps the CollX app to determine a card’s value.
The idea came from the time when Mann’s son Charlie started collecting cards during the pandemic but found it hard to determine their value. The father-son duo tried many tools and forums including eBay to determine the prices of these cards but felt that it was a tedious task and decided to build an app.
CollX has raised a seed round of $5.5 million led by Brand Foundry Ventures with participation from Next Coast Ventures, FJ Labs, 114 Ventures, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and Morrison Seger Venture Capital Partners. The company has had a long list of angel investors including Nat Turner, DJ Skee, David Adelman, Darren Lachtman, Brad Stadler, Ryan Schinman, and Robert J. Moore.
The startup aims to build a marketplace to facilitate trades between card dealers. Currently, the app helps two collectors connect and have a conversation over a potential deal. But they have to exchange the address details and exchange money manually. CollX wants to help facilitate those transactions, and in turn, take a cut as well.
“85 million American adults own trading cards, but most have no idea what they’re worth. We launched CollX with a simple utility to scratch the what’s-it-worth itch. That’s become a gateway to helping folks digitize their collections, do millions of dollars in deals, learn how to grade cards, and much more. We’re just getting started,” Mann said in a statement.
At the moment, the startup earns money from Card Dealer Pro, a startup it acquired last year, which helps card shops quickly scan and upload their inventory. Mann said that there are thousands of shops in the US that have a large card collection and this software helps them digitize and keep track of those cards better than creating a spreadsheet.
Mann mentioned that he also wants to help these shops list their collection on CollX. So eventually users will have exposure to a bigger collection for potential purchases. In the long run, the startup wants to onboard other collectibles like coins and stamps on CollX as well.
In the past few years, collectibles like cards have emerged as an alternative asset class with multiple startups getting notable funding. Collectible trading platform Alt has raised more than $300 million to date from investors like Jeff Fagnan and Naval Ravikant-led Spearhead and Seven Seven Six Capital. Last year, entrepreneur Brian Lee and Baseball legend Derek Jeter launched a sports card-focused startup with $9 million backing from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Defy.vc and BAM Ventures. At the same time, eBay acquired trading card marketplace TGCPlayer for $295 million.
“CollX has grown to become a force in the hobby in a very short period of time. The secondary market for cards is big, but we see an opportunity for it to grow 2-3x. And CollX will be at the center of that, helping collectors level up in the hobby,” Wesley Gottesman of Brand Foundry said in a statement.