May 31st - This Week in Alternative Investments

Housing's high, xAI, Beatles and dinos, climate tech and more

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  • Another all-time high for housing prices

  • Elon’s xAI raises $6 billion

  • A record-breaking Beatles auction

  • Goldman’s $20 billion private credit fund

Plus: A complete Stegosaurus, Gemini returns over $2 billion, climate-tech and clean energy stays hot, and much more.

NYC Tech Week

On Thursday June 6th at 6 PM ET, Republic is hosting a live event in New York City on how beginner investors can access high quality deal flow. ​The event will explore ​creative strategies for tapping into valuable deal flow, ​how to build a strong, diverse network, what to look for in a pitch deck, and much more.


$68,438 (+1.2% weekly)
Card Ladder 50
13,602 (+2.2% weekly)
Thomson-Reuters VC Index
16,209.24 (-5.6% weekly)
FHFA House Price Index - Mar.
423.4 (+0.1% monthly)

*as of market close May 30


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Market Updates

The Northeast posted the strongest home price gains

U.S. home prices hit a record-high for the ninth time in the last twelve months. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index for March showed a 1.3% monthly gain and a 6.5% gain year-over-year. In particular, markets such as San Diego (+11.1%), New York City (+9.2%) and Los Angeles (+8.8%) posted strong yearly results, with Portland and Denver seeing the smallest annual gains. Meanwhile, the FHFA House Price Index for March rose by 0.1% monthly, 1.1% quarterly and 6.6% yearly and has now shown positive gains every quarter since 2012. The five states with the highest average appreciation rate in the past year were Vermont, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Wisconsin. Despite persistently high mortgage rates, prices are rising because of a lack of supply, though inventory has grown in the past month. Because both indices report data from two months prior, don’t be surprised to see a price slowdown going forward.

xAI, Elon Musk’s OpenAI competitor, raised a $6 billion Series B. The company now carries a $24 billion post-money valuation, second only to OpenAI’s $86 billion valuation among AI startups. The round was led by VC heavyweights like Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz with additional funding from Saudi sources. This gives xAI the funding it needs to compete with Microsoft-backed OpenAI and Amazon-backed Anthropic, with potentially huge rewards for the first company to bring the next big breakthrough in AI to the public.

(Julien’s Auctions)

John Lennon’s “lost” guitar sold for $2.85 million. The “Hootenanny” guitar had not been seen for more than 50 years before being rediscovered and authenticated as the one used by both Lennon and George Harrison during the “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” recording sessions. It far exceeded the pre-sale estimate of $600,000-$800,000 and set a new record for any Beatles guitar. Music memorabilia is an emerging collectibles market and rare items tied to legendary artists have been consistently beating expectations at auction.

Goldman Sachs raised more than $20 billion for its newest private credit fund. The Wall Street giant’s fifth direct lending fund clocked in at nearly triple the previous fund, which attracted $7.1 billion and closed in March 2021. With private equity dry powder at an all-time high, Goldman expects there to be a number of lending opportunities in the near future. All told, they are hoping to more than double their private credit business from $130 billion to $300 billion in the next five years. Private credit has been one of the fastest growing alternative asset classes, and despite a crowded market, it does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Smart Humans Podcast

In this episode of Smart Humans, Slava Rubin talks with Masterworks’ Scott Lynn about art investing, researching the art market, and picking winners.


📝 Top Stories


  • A valuable fossil: The 27-foot long “Apex” is one of the largest and most well-preserved full Stegosaurus skeletons ever discovered, and carries a $4 million - $6 million estimate when it goes to auction this July.

  • Gemini repaying its users: The crypto exchange owned by the Winklevoss twins announced that users of its Earn program will receive $2.18 billion, after having their funds frozen for since November 2022 in the wake of partner Genesis’ bankruptcy. As the price of digital assets has risen in the interim, the distribution represents a 232% recovery.

  • SpaceX at $200 billion?: In what was a big week for Elon Musk companies, it was reported that SpaceX is considering a tender offer at a valuation of $200 billion, an increase over its last price of $180 billion, though Musk later denied the report.

 🎨 Art


  • Phillips’ Hong Kong auctions: This weekend, the auction house is holding its Modern and Contemporary art auctions, highlighted by Basquiat’s “Native Carrying Some Guns, Bibles, Amorites on Safari,” which carries an estimate of $11 million - $15 million.

  • A “lost” Caravaggio goes on display: The 17th century “Ecce Homo” is now on display at the Prado museum in Madrid. It is one of only around 60 known works by the Italian master, and was nearly auctioned for just $1,600 in 2021.


(Heritage Auctions)

  • Another Bronx Bomber jersey: After last week’s news about a potential $30 million Babe Ruth jersey, Heritage Auctions announced the same auction will also include a 1938 Lou Gehrig game-worn and photo-matched jersey with an estimated value of $7 million.

🪙 Crypto

  • Mastercard’s crypto play: The credit card company is launching a P2P platform for crypto users in Europe and Latin America that will allow cross-border payments, representing a mainstream use case for blockchain technology.

  • Crypto super PACs: Ripple announced a $25 million donation to a network of crypto super PACs, bringing the group’s total fundraising to $110 million as it works to influence elections and lobby politicians.

  • FTX exec sentenced: Ryan Salame, the former CEO of the failed crypto exchange’s subsidiary, was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy.

💵 Private Credit

  • Jamie Dimon’s warning: The JP Morgan Chase CEO is worried that the expanding private credit market is riskier than retail clients think, as it has not been tested by a down market as of yet.

🏡 Real Estate

  • Chicago’s office conversions: In an effort to combat its 25% office vacancy rate and revitalize its struggling downtown, the Windy City is earmarking $1.5 billion for a public subsidy program to convert older buildings into residences and hotels.

  • Median rents fall: Nationwide rent for zero to two-bedroom properties fell by 0.7% year-over-year and are now down 1.9% from their August 2022 peak.

  • Farmland still fertile: Global farmland values have increased at an average of around 10% per year over the past two decades, but as the effects of climate change increase, geographical diversification is a must.

🚀 Venture Capital

  • Climate-tech raise: Clean Energy Ventures closed a $305 million fund, nearly triple its debut $110 million fund from 2019, as strategic investors continue to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

  • A strong 2024 for Climate Funds: Overall, thus far in 2024, climate funds have raised $4.4 billion, compared to $5.2 billion for all of 2023, underscoring the growth in demand in the sector.

  • Biotech recovering: Funding for the biotech industry is also up in 2024, with a 46% gain in Q1 compared to Q4 2023, with increased interest in late-stage companies.

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