A PSA 10 First Edition Charizard is being fractionalized and sold as an investment.
A company called Otis is selling fractional shares of the Charizard—one of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards ever made, at an initial value of $236,800. Initially, shares of the card will be offered for as little as $10.
Otis describes itself as “an alternative investment platform at the intersection of passion and finance.” Otis promises to allow anyone to allow a little piece of cultural history by buying shares of it from Otis.
The mint-condition Charizard is just the latest of the collectibles Otis has fractionalized and sold shares of. It also has a 9.6-graded copy of Super Mario 64, all three of the 2009 Kanye West–designed Nike Air Yeezy 1s, a mint-condition 1987 Fleer Michael Jordan card, and multiple NFTs. A first-edition Charizard sold earlier this year for $360,000, proving the collectible market has legs.
Otis claims that everything it’s doing is SEC-compliant. According to its website, “Each asset or group of assets is owned by an individual series of our subsidiaries, Otis Gallery LLC and Otis Collection LLC. When you invest, you become an interest holder (shareholder) in a specific series (sub-company) that owns an asset or group of assets. Each series (asset) has a separate EIN, bank account and escrow account.”
Shareholders can’t view the items they own portions of on demand, but Otis does run a gallery and claims it will host occasional pop ups to show off the art. It has a dedicated gallery space on East 3rd Street.
The fractionalization of collectibles is the latest in a long line of disruptive and speculative market shifts. Otis has been selling shares in collectibles for a minute, and NFTs have taken the practice to new heights; Otis even added NFTs to its portfolio recently. As collectibles, decentralized finance, crypto schemes, and NFTs become more popular, the financial markets have come to resemble a casino. Anyone with a little cash can lay a bet or make an investment, but chances are they’ll lose big.
Otis, however, is confident that investing in a small portion of a collectible Pokémon card will give investors a return. In terms of recent sales in the past year, the card price peaked in March at $399.7K. The market has since corrected & stabilized with most recent sales of $264K (July 2021) & 270.6K (Sept 2021) – both of which are significantly above our drop value of $236.8K,” it said on Twitter. “As this group’s wealth increases in the years to come, there could very conceivably be a significant increase in dollars chasing a limited number of grail Pokémon cards.”