Spending time at his parents’ house in North Carolina last year as COVID-19 put the clamps on normalcy, Nat Turner was pondering his next move. The co-founder and CEO of Flatiron Health kept coming back to the hobby that occupied his newly expanded down time.
“I was kind of thinking about what’s next and thought ‘how cool would it be to do something with cards?’”
A few months later, he had put together a group of investors and become the executive chairman of one of the largest collectible companies in the world.
“I started playing around with a bunch of different ideas and frankly, all of them led back to Collectors Universe,” he told SC Daily this week. “I wanted to use computers for detecting trimmed cards. I wanted to allow collectors to be able to see their collections on their phones. It kind of all came back to PSA and extending that vision to other collectibles.”
Collectors Universe, parent company of PSA, wasn’t cheap. The exploding market for sports cards had helped push its stock price from less than $20 to over $90 in a period of several months. In the meantime, Turner had been securing commitments from an increasing number of investors, including D1 Capital Partners, Cohen Private Ventures, fellow collector and Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick and several current and former athletes.