a digital wealth management platform, announced that it has acquired
Athena Art Finance Corp. (“Athena”) from The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG)
and co-investors in a transaction valued at approximately $170 million.
Athena is a pioneer in the global art finance market, providing art
dealers, art galleries and collectors access to tailored financing
alternatives secured by fine art. Since its founding in 2015, Athena’s
disciplined, data-driven investing approach has produced cumulative
originations of more than $225 million in loans without any realized
This transaction represents YieldStreet’s first corporate acquisition,
and comes on the heels of its recently completed $62 million Series B
funding, the fifth largest fintech Series B funding round ever completed
in New York City. YieldStreet offers retail investors unique 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. “They have exemplified what it means to be a fantastic
partner to a rapidly scaling business by providing strategic insights
and financial support for this acquisition of Athena,” said YieldStreet
Founder and President Michael Weisz.
“Our acquisition of Athena demonstrates YieldStreet’s ability to
leverage our technology, proprietary origination channels and efficient
direct-to-consumer distribution, to take a traditional capital intensive
business and make it capital efficient. We’re thrilled to have the
Athena team join the YieldStreet family, and look forward to supporting
its existing business and continued scale and success,” said Weisz.
“True to our investor-first approach, we are constantly looking for
unique and attractive diversification opportunities,” said Milind
Mehere, Founder & CEO of YieldStreet. “Athena is the leading provider of
credit solutions for the global art market and has scaled the business
with strong growth and asset performance. Art financing is an attractive
asset class with typically low correlation to the stock market and low
loan-to-values, providing what we believe is both an exciting and sound
new investment option for our investor community of more than 100,000
Athena’s experienced team is comprised of finance, art and legal
veterans. Athena brings a principled institutional approach to art
finance, by applying sound loan structuring, comprehensive art market
analysis, and building proprietary data analytics and risk scoring
methodologies related to specific artists and their works. Athena’s
adherence to data quality, borrower confidentiality, and strong
underwriting standards along with the highest levels of client support
are a strong fit with YieldStreet’s investment philosophy.
As part of YieldStreet, Athena will continue under the executive
leadership of Cynthia E. Sachs.
“Carlyle is proud to have played an important role in Athena’s growth
and success,” said Jim Burr, Managing Director of The Carlyle Group.
“YieldStreet has an impressive, innovative model and we are confident
they are the right home for the future of Athena’s business.”
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.
Evercore served as the exclusive financial advisor to YieldStreet, and
Sandler O’Neill served as the exclusive financial advisor to Athena on
YieldStreet is striving to build the largest global digital wealth
management platform to change the way wealth is created. With an
investor-first approach, YieldStreet’s community can build a diversified
portfolio of investments outside of the stock market to help generate
passive income. Investors get unprecedented access to asset classes such
as Real Estate, Marine Finance, Litigation Finance & Commercial loans.
Headquartered in New York City with offices in Brazil, Argentina and
Greece, the company is backed with over $325M of equity and debt capital
from firms including Edison Partners, Greenspring Associates, Greycroft,
Raine Ventures, and others. Join the movement at www.yieldstreet.com.
About Athena Art Finance
Athena Art Finance (www.athena-art.com)
is a disciplined finance company specializing in art-based lending.
Athena provides its clients with flexible options for debt financing
secured by high-value artwork. Our clients are high-net-worth
individuals, families, trusts and art market professionals, and we work
closely with them and their advisors, private bankers and wealth
managers. Since 2015, Athena has provided over $225 million in financing
for its clients globally.