Bumble-shareholder Blackstone Group has purchased a majority stake in collectables authenticating and grading company Certified Collectibles Group (CCG).
The deal values CCG at $500 million, which has seen a significant increase in business over the pandemic. A large number of people with extra time and money on their hands started collecting trading cards again, specifically Pokémon, after the trend took off on YouTube, Twitch and other social media platforms.
Blackstone will look to accelerate CCG’s growth, through product and geographical expansions, while also retaining its experienced senior leadership team.
C. C. Melvin Ike, Principal at Blackstone, said in a statement: “As thematic investors, we look for exceptional entrepreneurial teams succeeding in growing markets, and CCG is a great example.
“We have been closely following the rise of the global physical and digital collectibles industry for several years and we were drawn to CCG because of their leadership role in the categories that they serve, and Blackstone’s ability to grow the platform through both organic and inorganic initiatives.”
CCG was founded in 1987 and has certified more than 62 million collectables, with an estimated combined market value of $50 billion.
Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment and investment agency, also contributed to the round. It worked with Blackstone 12 months ago, contributing to a $200 million funding round for oat milk producer Oatly.
Blackstone acquired Bumble, when it was known as ‘MagicLab’, towards the end of 2019, buying out Andrey Andreev and appointing Whitney Wolfe Herd as the CEO.
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