Otis – Investments in Uniqueness by Alexander Gornyi


The post was originally published in Russian on Startup of the Day. Alexander kindly agreed to republish what we think is of great value to our readers.

Everybody wants to invest one dollar today to get ten plus adjusted for inflation in thirty years. A little question – what exactly does one need to buy for such a result. One of the possible variants is the unique objects. They have been decisively growing in price over the past centuries, and there are reasons to think that this trend will continue.

In practice, however, it’s difficult to invest in something unique. Sure, you can find many options online, ranging from this Lost Socks NFT to the same for a famous painting in a museum. However, when you think about it, a regular person doesn’t have money for Raphael’s painting, and buying an NFT of a three-score in an important NBA game is scary. Who knows if someone will remember those NFTs in 30 years, they don’t have as much history behind them as Raphael does.

The American startup of the day Otis tackles the problem. It builds a stock of shares in unique objects. If you don’t have enough money for an entire painting by Raphael – buy 0.0001%. In addition, you get some liquidity, it’s stock, after all, every day someone buys something and someone sells something. Besides, having clicked twenty times instead of two, one can buy ten different objects instead of one risky investment. If NFTs of three-scores get forgotten, the portfolio will get stretched by old comic books. Or maybe it will turn out the other way around – who knows what may be in 2050.

Otis has been beyond the stage of an idea for a while now, it attracted 16.5 million dollars over several rounds, but the model didn’t rocket yet. Only about a hundred objects are for sale on the platform, and they are all by far no Sistine Madonnas. Typical examples are classical series training boots, first iPods and iPhones, and the mentioned 1930s comic books. Investing 500 dollars in those just for laughs seems quite possible, but, in my opinion, we can’t talk about serious amounts here. A few hundred thousand people downloaded the app, maybe several thousand tried to buy something.

Translation: Kostiantyn Tupikov


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