YieldStreet has entered into a new asset class, acquiring Athena Art Finance for $170 million from The Carlyle Group.
Athena Art Finance provides loans to art dealers, collectors and museums and galleries to buy fine art and other collectibles. Athena was founded in 2015 and was controlled by private equity firm Carlyle Group along with individual investors (one of whom is Olivier Sarkozy, the half-brother of the former president of France).
A recent report put the global art finance market at some $20 billion annually, the majority of that being secured by individuals rather than organizations or businesses.
As part of YieldStreet, Athena will continue under the executive leadership of Cynthia Sachs.
YieldStreet offers retail investors unique access to alternative investments traditionally only available to institutional investors. Investment funds managed by Soros Fund Management initially invested in YieldStreet’s Series A, followed on with an investment in the Series B, and provides warehouse financing for YieldStreet.
YieldStreet has already unlocked access to multiple alternative asset classes, historically available to only the largest institutions, including marine & shipping, real estate, legal finance and commercial loans for its customers who have invested more than $650 million on the platform since inception.