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Alternative Market Briefing

YieldStreet acquires Carlyle-backed Athena for $170m to add art financing to its alternative investment platform

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

Yieldstreet, a closely held digital wealth management platform, acquires Athena Art Finance from Carlyle Group and co-investors in a deal valued at $170m.

With this acquisition, YieldStreet, which raised $62m in February to further open to a wider base of investors alternative investments in areas like shipping, real estate, legal finance and commercial loans, is expanding into a new asset class.

Athena Art Finance provides loans to art dealers, collectors and museums and galleries to buy fine art and other collectibles.

According to a press release, since its founding in 2015, Athena has produced cumulative originations of more than $225m in loans without any credit losses.

YieldStreet claimed that it offers retail investors access to alternative investments traditionally only available to institutional investors.

Investment funds managed by Soros Fund Management LLC initially invested in YieldStreet's Series A, followed on with an investment in the Series B, and provides warehouse financing for YieldStreet.

YieldStreet also claimed that it 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 $650m on the platform since inception.

Athena brings an institutional approach to art finance, by applying sound loan structuring, comp......................

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