By Nancy Dahlberg
Combining live streaming and e-commerce with the excitement of opening baseball card boxes live, Loupe is an app and live e-commerce streaming platform built for sports card collectors. Today, the Miami-based startup announced it has raised a $12 million Series A round.
The round was led by Forerunner Ventures of San Francisco, and includes DJ Skee, a music producer and DJ, and Nat Turner, part owner of Collectors Universe Inc. The round follows a $3 million seed round led by Upfront Ventures in January.
Loupe was founder Eric Doty, a collector since he was a child. Doty, Loupe’s CEO, moved the company to the Miami area from Los Angeles in October. The startup also launched the service in October as well, and Crunchbase reported today that the startup is growing by 50% month over month in total sales and is facilitating millions of sales every month.
With the funding, the company, which has nine employees, plans to hire at least six more this year and also invest in building out more user-requested features for the app so that anyone who wants to sell cards can build their business on the platform and be successful, he told Crunchbase. “Hundreds of people are on a waitlist to be added, and we are always looking for sellers that represent what we stand for. We are also focused on our community and building a relationship with them.”
Loupe also plans to open a flagship showroom, store and office space, with studios for livestream viewing, in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.
To be sure, card trading is a big opportunity with the global market projected to reach $98.8 billion by 2027.
Demand for trading cards has skyrocketed over the last year and the hobby wasn’t prepared for the surge, said Doty in an earlier this year with Refresh Miamii. “Box breaking,” in which audiences watch live as a seller opens a buyer’s cards on video, has been credited as one of the reasons for the popularly spike. Loupe provides the first unified platform for box breakers to live stream and sell sealed packs and single cards to collectors. Loupe also provides all the tools needed for a seamless experience and transaction.
“I love sports and sports and sports cards and it was a market that was missing a big tech piece. There hadn’t been any advancement in technology enhancements. Old tools and systems were being used,” Doty said in an earlier interview. “We’re going to make a modern app for modern collectors so they can engage with their hobby in a new fresh way.”
Before founding Loupe, Doty was head of product at Mobcrush, a tech company focused on live streaming for mobile games acquired this year by Super League Gaming.
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