Sports Collectors

PSA Buys Software Company to Bring AI to Grading Process

When collector Nat Turner and a group of other investors acquired PSA and the other Collectors Universe properties earlier this year in an $853 million, he promised artificial intelligence would soon become part of the grading process.  On Wednesday, PSA’s grading operation acquired Genamint, Inc., a Long Island, NY-based software company that does just that. It also made Genamint’s founder its new Vice President of Product Management.

Genamint, Inc.

Genamint’s technology includes an automated analysis of trading cards in real time, including sophisticated measurement, the ability to detect wear and other surface anomalies as well as alterations.  It will also provide unique card identification – or “card fingerprinting.”  That technology is aimed at tracking provenance to decipher whether the same card has been submitted in the past, which should help determine if it may have been doctored at some point

“Acquiring and integrating Genamint will allow us to grade more trading cards faster while improving accuracy,” stated Nat Turner, who is now executive chairman of Collectors Universe, PSA’s parent company. “We’re not eliminating humans from the grading process,” he continued. “We’re improving the process by adding technology.” 

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In fact,  PSA is still hiring graders to tackle a huge backlog of submissions it’s still trying to wade through.  Earlier this spring, the company stopped accepting all but cards submitted at the highest service levels in an effort to catch up.

Genamint founder Kevin Lenane is the former CEO and founder of Veenome, which was a market leader in the machine vision field. Veenome was acquired in 2015 by Integral Ad Science.  According to Newsday, Genamint was in the process of raising a $500,000 funding round when Turner asked about the possibility of an outright sale.

“I’m excited to start working with the team at PSA,” Lenane said. “We expect to significantly enhance PSA’s capacity by implementing our technology and taking PSA’s grading process to the next level through our unique capabilities including card diagnostics.”

Beyond the acquisition of Genamint, PSA says it will make additional investments in technology and operational capacity.

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