Roundup: The art market is back, Collectors raises $100m, Pudgy Penguins gains a new owner
Moriah Costa

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📰 In the Headlines

The art market is back and better than ever, according to Art Basel and UBS  

• Art Basel and UBS released their annual Global Art Market Report this week. It paints a portrait of a strong art market that has rebounded above pre-pandemic levels and continues to grow at a rapid pace.  

• Last year, the art market turned over $65.1b in sales, a 29% increase from the year before and a $700m increase from pre-pandemic levels. The US continues to lead the pack in terms of sales, followed by China and the UK.  

Fun Fact: The NFT market had a banner year, growing from $4.6m in 2019 to $11.1b last year. Most of those sales didn’t happen at major auction houses — Sotheby’s and Christie’s only account for $230 million of that total.

Collectors, freshly rebranded, secures $100M in funding and launches a vault service  

• Collectors Universe, the parent company of PSA, announced it would now be known as just plain old Collectors. The company also said it planned to launch Collectors Vault, a new storage and sales service, this summer.  

• The company’s vault product will be similar to those offered by Goldin and PWCC. Collectors can send their cards to be graded by PSA and then immediately transfer them to the company’s vault, where it will be stored until it is sold.  

Fun Fact: The announcements came after Collectors closed a $100m financing round that put its valuation at more than $4b. The cash will help the company launch the vault project, as well as hire new staff to clear PSA’s massive grading backlog.

Pudgy Penguins waddles to a new owner  

• Control of the collection of 8,888 NFTs was sold to LA-based entrepreneur Luca Netz, who paid 750 ETH ($2.5m) to become the leader of “The Huddle.” Netz will have commercial rights to the tokens, as well as the ability to launch new products.

• Under Netz’s control, Pudgy Penguins is finally expected to release its much-anticipated $PENGU token. After the deal was announced, the floor price for a token rose to 2.5 ETH, up from a low of 0.7 ETH a few weeks ago.  

Fun Fact: In January, Pudgy Penguins owners voted to give the boot to their original leadership team. The move came after the team failed to make good on a host of promises for penguin-related projects, including a children’s book, a token, and a metaverse game.  

 🔥 From the Otis Collection

• Virgil Abloh’s Nike x Off-White sneaker collection, “The Ten” sold for $35,280 on Wednesday at Sotheby’s Modern Collectibles auction. A complete collection of "The Ten" is also trading on Otis at market cap of $24k as of trading close 4/7.  

• A Michael Jordan asset-backed NFT sold out on RareMint on March 31. The signed 1989-1990 Game Worn MJ Jersey NFT sold for 23 ETH ($78,000) to a private collector. Otis has a number of MJ assets, including a pair of game-worn “Shattered Backboard” Jordan 1’s.  

• Logan Paul acquired a rare Pikachu Illustrator card worth $6m then wore it around his neck during his WrestleMania 38 appearance. Otis has a number of Pokémon cards, including a 1st edition Charizard Pokémon card (1999 Holo PSA 10).

• HBO’s latest show Winning Timepays tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. A Kobe Bryant Last Game ticket is trading on Otis.  

• Kanye West and Jay-Z won best rap song at the 2022 Grammy’s for their song Jail.  Otis has a pair of Jay-Z Air Force 1s All Black Everything while Kanye West’s most iconic sneakers are trading on Otis in Yeezy Collections I and II.  

• Marvel is relaunching the Shang-Chi comic series and renaming it Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings, to create more synchrony with the film. A copy of Special Marvel #15, Shang-Chi’s first appearance, is trading on Otis.

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