Alexis Ohanian and Brent Montgomery Are Launching a New Collectibles Platform

Mantel aims to out from other collectibles platforms by emphasizing niche and communal interactions.

Two men pose next to each other at outdoor party
Brent Montgomery (left) and Alexis Ohanian (right) on April 20, 2023 in West Hollywood, California. Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Wheelhouse

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, is partnering up with media heavyweight Brent Montgomery to shake up the burgeoning collectibles market. The duo yesterday (Feb. 13) announced the launch of Mantel, a new social media platform designed for collectible enthusiasts.

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Currently live as a beta version, the platform takes its name from Mickey Mantle, a sought-after figure in sports collectibles whose baseball cards have fetched upwards of $12 million at auction. While Mantel presently services collecting categories like sports cards, trading card games and sports memorabilia, it will eventually expand to include comics, stamps, watches, coins, toys, cars, NFTs and even wine.

“Mantel combines two of my greatest passions in business and in life: community and collecting,” said Ohanian in a statement. The platform will promote community engagement, harkening back to the user-generated content and niche discussion topics found on Reddit. Ohanian, who launched Mantel through his venture capital firm Seven Seven Six, is active in the sports collectibles market and has previously advocated for more female representation in the industry.

Montgomery also has longstanding ties to the world of memorabilia. Mantel won’t be the first collectibles project he’s invested in via his media company Wheelhouse, which supported the 2022 auction-centered Netflix show King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch and Rally, a fractional investment platform for collectibles.

“Collecting touches every demographic and unites people in a nostalgic way that little else can, and I’m excited as well to help promote what is an alternative asset class where people can have incredible fun investing,” said Montgomery, who helped develop the concept for Pawn Stars while leading production company Leftfield Entertainment in the 2000s, in a statement.

Man in sweater stands in empty basketball court outdoors
Evan Parker will head the new platform. Courtesy Mantel

In addition to Seven Seven Six and Wheelhouse, Mantel’s investors include cake-throwing DJ Steve Aoki; Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of reservation software Resy; Candace Parker, a renowned player in the Women’s National Basketball Association; and Adam Hansmann, co-founder of sports journalism website The Athletic.

Also joining from The Athletic, which The New York Times acquired in 2022, is Mantel’s CEO Evan Parker. After working in content at NASCAR for eight years, Parker moved over to the sports publication and most recently served as senior vice president and general manager. Developing Mantel over the past seven months has been “the most challenging chapter of my career,” wrote Parker in a recent LinkedIn post, adding that “nothing compares to the excitement of launching a business from scratch.”

The new platform aims to take advantage of a rapidly growing industry. Valued at $458 billion in 2022, the collectibles market is expected to cross the $1 trillion threshold by 2033, according to market research firm Market Decipher. Mantel’s emphasis on interaction over transaction and specialized features like a sports card database will help the start-up stand out from other platforms in the space, said Parker in a video interview with Ohanian.

“A lot of the social networks out there are too big, too broad or too anonymous to really create community,” he said. “What we’re hoping to build with Mantel is something that’s very niche, very targeted, very communal.”

Alexis Ohanian and Brent Montgomery Are Launching a New Collectibles Platform