The fractional investing company Public announced the acquisition of the digital collectibles and non-fungible token (NFT) technology startup Otis. Public’s co-CEO believes the acquisition will give Public the ability to provide people with the only place in the world “where people can invest in — and build a modern portfolio with — any fractional asset.”
‘Fractionalizing Any Asset’ — Social Investing Firm Public Acquires NFT Startup Otis
On March 9, the investing company Public explained in a blog post that the firm has acquired the NFT auction platform Otis. Bitcoin.com News reported on Otis at the end of 2021, back when Otis revealed it was auctioning six physical assets. The physical items revealed that day included a 1993 Simpsons Matt Groening DeBart card, a mint condition 2003 Topps Chrome Lebron James Rookie card, a Pokémon Yellow Gameboy video game, Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. 3, and a 1971 Bob Ross painting.
Essentially, Otis takes an item valued at $5K or more, and then mints an NFT that represents the vaulted physical collectible. The owner of the physical item then gets the NFT and it can be traded and fractionalized. Public and its website public.com offers fractional investments as well, as the company provides users with fractional shares of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Public has secured capital on several occasions including an initial seed round in 2018, a Series A through C, and the firm’s Series D fundraise in 2021 saw a $1.2 billion capital injection.
“We’re excited to announce the acquisition of Otis, a pioneer in fractional investing in NFTs, art, and collectibles,” Leif Abraham, Public’s co-CEO said in a statement on Wednesday. “With Otis joining Public, the Public platform will soon be the only place in the world where people can invest in — and build a modern portfolio with — any fractional asset. That means NFTs, art, collectibles, real estate, crypto, funds, stocks, and more — all in one place.”
Fractionalized Digital Collectibles See Significant Demand Over the Last year
Fractionalized digital collectibles have become a hot topic in the last 12 months, and there are various projects dedicated to the concept. For instance, the protocol Unicly fractionalizes NFT collectibles via the use of a native token called utoken. At press time, dappradar.com metrics show the current market capitalization for fractionalized NFTs stands at $89.2 million today.
The physically-back NFT platform Courtyard recently partnered with the asset protection firm Brink’s in order to store 1,000 graded Pokémon cards and then mint them into NFTs. A project called Fractional and another one dubbed Daofi offer fractionalized digital collectible products as well. Dappradar.com stats further indicate that the fractionalized Doge NFT (DOG) is the largest project of its kind in terms of market cap.
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