Kids used to love swapping baseball cards in the 1940s and 50s. There was a time when a Mickey Mantle rookie card was a child’s most cherished possession. But some might say that kids today hardly know what baseball is, let alone what baseball cards are.
More recently, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards could have been found stacked in backpacks across the globe, their Charizard and Blue-Eyes White Dragons weighing even more than their schoolbooks. Though games like Pokemon Go have brought some of these trading cards back into the mainstream, their popularity isn’t exactly what it used to be.
The days of the physical trading card, sadly, might be over.
But thanks to a fast-growing Syracuse company and a generous $10 million investment, a new online marketplace for collectable trading cards is on its way.
According to Syracuse.com, TCGplayer has received a $10 million investment from Radian Capital, an equity fund in New York City. The money will be used to further develop innovative technologies and increase TCGplayer’s hiring to accommodate for this fast-growing, multibillion-dollar industry.
E-commerce already generates approximately $1.2 million every 30 seconds. Everything from books to electronics is constantly being purchased across the web. Even online antique sales in the U.S. yielded a $1 billion revenue stream in 2016.
Collectible trading cards, however, could be worth far more than that.
“TCGplayer has a strong foothold into the $5 billion collectible card market,” said Weston Gaddy, co-founder of Radian Capital. “We believe our investment will help them leverage this position to migrate into the much larger hobby store space for comic books, sports cards and board games.”
Radian Capital was founded in 2016 and has since targeted and provided financial backing to innovative and disruptive technology companies located outside Silicon Valley.
“TCGplayer technology has revolutionized the collectible game card industry,” Gaddy added. “They connect millions of buyers and sellers across the globe. This is a growing and loyal online marketplace of enthusiasts who look to them as leaders and innovators.”
TCGplayer currently has 200 people employed at its Syracuse headquarters and has an additional office in Atlanta. Also, the company expects it will add 162 jobs in the Syracuse area over the next five years.
Recently, the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency has approved a $104,000 tax exemption for TCGplayer’s relocation move to the Galleries of Syracuse office complex from Armory Square.
The agency’s directors voted 3-0 Tuesday to give TCGplayer’s backing company, Ascension Gaming Network Inc., a sales tax exemption on both construction materials and furnishings for the 45,000 square feet structure. TCGplayer estimates that it would cost roughly $2.7 million to construct its building at the vacant space, including cost of fixtures and furniture.