By Nancy Dahlberg
Combining the community of video game streaming with the excitement of opening baseball card boxes live, Loupe is a live e-commerce streaming platform built for sports card collectors. Today, the startup announced it has raised $3 million. The round was led by Upfront Ventures.
Loupe founder and CEO Eric Doty moved the company to the Miami area from Los Angeles in October. The startup, now a 5-person team, also launched the service in October as well, and it has been more than doubling revenues month over month. .
Demand for trading cards has skyrocketed over the last year and the hobby wasn’t prepared for the surge, said Doty. “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. “We’re going to make a modern app for modern collectors so they can engage with their hobby in a new fresh way.”
Miami tech entrepreneur Will Weinraub said he made his first angel investment ever in Loupe. “I met Eric and became so impressed w/ what he's building that I knew I had to be a part of it. Before I knew it, I found myself making my first angel investment,” Weinraub tweeted.
Moving from New York City is Capsule, a young startup that announced last week it raised $2 million in pre-seed funding led by Array Ventures and Bloomberg Beta, according to this piece in TechCrunch.
Capsule, a Miami startup led by CEO and co-founder Champ Bennett, is a collaborative vido platform that automates fast, professional content for brands. Launched last year, the startup has landed contracts with Google, Samsung, Salesforce and others.
“While there have been incredible advancements in video tech for consumers, businesses have been largely left in the dust, creating a substantial hole in a large and growing market,” Bennett said.
Bennett, who lived in New York for the past 16 years, was also the founder of PHHHOTO, an animated GIF capture tool that was especially popular in South Florida largely because of its partnerships with Art Basel, Bennett said. PHHHOTO shut down in 2017.
Bennett and his wife moved to Miami in September. Bennett is currently looking to hire for a lead product designer role in Miami to add to his team of 8, currently working remotely.
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