- Vincent Spotlight
- February 2nd - This Week in Alternative Investments
February 2nd - This Week in Alternative Investments
This issue is brought to you by Flower Turbines, an innovative wind turbine company propelling us to a clean energy future.
Bite-sized market updates
Ethereum ETFs could be on the way
A set of Michael Jordan’s sneakers sold for over $8 million
VC funds have a record amount of “dry powder”
Over $244 million of high-end cars were sold in Arizona
Plus: Reddit’s IPO valuation, Sotheby’s defeats an oligarch, Ripple’s CEO gets hacked, and more.
Thomson-Reuters VC Index
S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index (Nov.)
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Smart Humans Podcast
In this week's episode of Smart Humans, Slava Rubin talks with Jason Calacanis about angel investing, the state of venture capital, and trusting the process.
Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) could arrive as soon as May. The 2nd largest cryptocurrency by market cap could follow in the footsteps of Bitcoin, which saw ETFs debut last month. Multiple companies - including Fidelity and BlackRock - have already applied to create spot Ethereum ETFs, and the deadline for approval is May 23rd. Some analysts believe approval will come then, while others believe it may take until 2025 or 2026, but the anticipation may cause a price spike as it did with Bitcoin. Ultimately, if the ETFs are approved, it would open up easier access to Ethereum for those investors who do not want to have to own and custody the coin themselves, potentially increasing demand and in turn, the price of the asset.
The “Dynasty Collection” of Michael Jordan sneakers sold for just over $8 million. The set of six sneakers, one from the clinching game of each of Jordan’s six NBA championships, had a pre-auction estimate of $7 - $10 million. While it did not come close to the high estimate, the price tag is still the highest ever for game-worn sneakers and one of the largest sports memorabilia sales ever. Taken separately, the $1.33 million for each sneaker would also be among the most expensive sneakers ever sold. The result is a testament to the enduring appeal of Jordan memorabilia and the power of a truly unique collection.
Venture capital firms are sitting on a reported $311 billion in cash. After raising $435 billion between 2020 and 2022, firms were flush with money, but have become much more conservative in deploying that money over the past year. This has led to a record accumulation of “dry powder,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are in a hurry to deploy it. With fundraising levels dipping significantly in 2023, VCs are being patient for now, knowing that their cash reserves won’t necessarily be replaced if they become depleted. Until fundraising levels rise, startups are likely to still have a difficult time securing VC funding.
The high-end “Arizona Auctions” saw $244.8 million in car sales last week. While the total did not match 2023’s, it was 23% above its forecast, as the previously cooling market is seeing a rebound. There were five cars that sold for over $2 million each, led by a 2022 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport Coupe that sold for $5.175 million and a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe that sold for $3.41 million. Overall, the higher-end cars saw more sales above their estimated values, and longer-term holds saw better results than quick flips. This reinforces the idea of targeting top-quality assets and being patient with them, which tends to be good practice across asset classes.
Research and insights from the Vincent team
More stories worth checking out
The privately-held social media giant Reddit has been advised to seek a $5 billion valuation for its IPO, slightly above reported secondary trading prices, but well below the $10 billion valuation it saw during its last funding round in December 2021.
The Federal Reserve kept interest rates steady, but indicated that a rate cut was unlikely to come in March, potentially delaying a recovery for asset classes that perform better in low interest rate environments.
Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev lost his lawsuit against Sotheby’s that alleged the auction house had fraudulently overcharged him for more than $100 million worth of art.
Hackers stole $112 million of the cryptocurrency Ripple from the personal wallet of Ripple CEO Chris Larsen, again underscoring the importance of keeping crypto assets safe and secure.
Global M&A involving venture-backed startups dropped by 31% last year, hitting an 8-year low, which shows the lack of liquidity options for venture investors.
Bankrupt Chinese company Evergrande, once the largest real estate developer in the world, was ordered to liquidate after defaulting on over $300 billion of debt.
1966’s “Images of a Woman”, the only painting ever created by all four Beatles, sold for $1.744 million, over a million dollars above the pre-auction estimate.
Investment firm Vint launched a new wine and spirits fund for accredited investors.**
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