June 7th - This Week in Alternative Investments

Brought to you by Groundfloor, where you can fractionally invest into real estate debt


  • Robinhood’s deepens its crypto reach

  • A soccer club share for the fans

  • A “fake” Degas turns out to be real

  • Built-to-rent’s continued rise

Plus: Stallone’s watch flip, Tokenizing a $9 million violin, Pershing Square going public, and much more.


$70,553 (+3.1% weekly)
Liv-Ex Fine Wine 1000
393 (-0.5% monthly)
Thomson-Reuters VC Index
16,259.27 (+0.3% weekly)
Forge Private Market Index
22,998 (-0.1% weekly)

*as of market close June 6


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Market Updates

Trading platform Robinhood is buying crypto exchange Bitstamp. At a reported price tag of $200 million, the acquisition is Robinhood’s largest so far, furthering its global expansion and its growing crypto business. The 16th-ranked exchange in the world Bitstamp is popular in Europe and Asia, and the transaction allows Robinhood to compete directly with Coinbase and Binance. The deal is expected to be finalized next year. Robinhood is already facing regulatory action from the SEC, which could limit its ability to bring Bitstamp’s offerings to American customers.

Watford FC is selling a 10% stake in the club to the public (Republic)

English football team Watford FC is selling 10% of the club to public investors. Watford currently plays in the second-tier EFL Championship, but has spent six of the past ten years in the Premier League, the top rung of competition in the country. Because of its long history - dating back to 1881 - and its recent time in the Premier League, it has prominent partnerships and a strong fan base, which allowed it to post the highest profit in the Championship last season. It is looking to raise £17.5M ($22.5M) at a £175M (~$225M) valuation on the investment platform Republic, with a minimum investment of $127. Potential upside exists if Watford can win promotion back to Premier League, and the opportunity to purchase a stake in a sport team like this is rare for everyday investors.


One of Sylvester Stallone’s watches sold for $5.4 million at auction. His rare Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300 set a new record for a modern watch sold by Sotheby’s, topping the high estimate of $5 million. This is the only time this watch, which was first released in 2014, has ever been auctioned, and Patek Phillippe is not thrilled with Stallone for flipping it. The watch reportedly takes 100,000 hours to assemble and is the most intricate in the history of the renowned brand. Nearly all the watches Stallone sold exceeded their pre-sale estimates, as the combination of star power and rarity attracted a number of bidders.

A drawing believed to be a fake work by Degas turned out to be real. The pastel was auctioned off in 2021, with a starting price of just $1, and ending up selling for $1,000. After a rigorous authentication process, it is now believed to be the lost 1876 work “Éloge du maquillage” and could be worth up to $13 million. It was just displayed in Spain last week for the first time since 1952, and is a reminder that sometimes gems can be unearthed at even the smallest auctions.

Uncorrelated Assets Event Replay

Percent’s Nelson Chu, Yieldstreet’s Michael Weisz and Forge's Howe Ng joined Vincent CEO Eric Cantor for a deep-dive into today’s markets and how everyday investors can win with private market assets. Check out the recap and recording.


📝 Top Stories

(Galaxy Digital Holdings)

  • A tokenized violin: Crypto firm Galaxy Digital created a blockchain version of a 1708 Stradivarius once belonging to Catherine the Great that was sold at auction last year for $9 million. The digital asset is being used to back a loan taken out by its owner, who is using blockchain technology to access liquidity, and may fractionalize the asset in the future.

  • SEC overruled on private funds: A U.S. Appeals court overturned an SEC rule intended to give investors greater transparency into the performance of private funds. These Funds, including hedge, venture and PE, would have been required to have annual audits and issue quarterly performance and fee reports, which they complained would be costly and burdensome.

  • Synapse bankruptcy: Challenges are intensifying with the recent failure of the banking-as-a-service (BaaS) startup Synapse, which is affecting a number of fintech startups and investor platforms, and this deep-dive sheds more light on what went on bedhind-the-scenes.

 🎨 Art

(Yuga Labs)

  • Bored Ape Auction: Later this month, Sotheby’s is auctioning off a rare NFT later this month - a “gold fur” Bored Ape - and the results will be a test of the remaining demand for these digital assets in the mainstream art world.


(Goldin Auctions)

  • A Jordan record: A 2003 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection “Logoman” card signed by Michael Jordan sold for $2.928 million, a new record for any Jordan card. It was the first time this card had ever been sold publicly.

  • The world’s most expensive toy: An unreleased, prototype Star Wars Boba Fett action figure from 1979, one of only two known to exist, sold for $525,000, breaking a record previously held by a one-of-a-kind Barbie.

  • A $7 million Bible?: The Shem Tov Bible, dating to 1312, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in September, and carries a $5-$7 million estimate, making it one of the most valuable books in the world.

🪙 Crypto

  • Deutsche Bank + Bitpanda: The German banking giant teamed up with the Austrian-based crypto company to process their customers’ deposits and withdrawals - another sign that crypto is becoming a part of the mainstream banking system.

  • Biden vetoes crypto bill: As he previously threatened he would, the President vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have reversed an SEC resolution that would raise the burdens for banks to handle crypto assets.

🏡 Real Estate

(National Association of Realtors)

  • Build to rent: Developers are increasingly building single family houses purely to rent, rather than to sell, with build-for-rent housing starts hitting a record-high.

  • Office vacancies keep rising: The average downtown office vacancy rate in urban areas hit a record-high 19.3%, but mixed-use districts are showing far lower vacancy rates than downtown districts.

  • Co-living bankruptcy: Common, which operates more than 5,200 units in 12 cities, filed for bankruptcy. It raised $113 million of venture capital funding in total, but today holds assets of only $10 million with liabilities above $50 million.

🚀 Venture Capital

  • Pershing Square IPO?: The hedge fund run by controversial investor Bill Ackman is reportedly eyeing a public offering in 2025 or 2026, and just sold a 10% stake to investors for $1.05 billion. This was in part to raise the money for his Pershing Square USA portfolio, which will be available to the public on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • WndrCo’s first raise: The firm co-founded by former Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg closed a $460 million raise for its first venture capital fund and will target “startups innovating in the areas of the future of work, consumer technology, cybersecurity and developer infrastructure.”

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