In its continuing effort to catch up with tens of millions of sports card submissions from a booming collectible industry, PSA has acquired Genamint, Inc. a software company it hopes will help improve PSA’s process for grading card submissions.
Genamint technology analyzes each card in real-time and is able to provide diagnostics, measurements, and detect alterations or other changes made to a card’s surface in an effort to assist human graders, according to Professional Sports Authenticator, the world’s largest trading card, autograph and memorabilia authentication and grading service.
Genamint will also provide unique card identification, or “card fingerprinting,” by identifying the exact card in order to track provenance, resubmissions, condition changes and other attributes over time.
The move will allow PSA to catch up to an overwhelming volume of card submissions that forced it to raise its prices in early March, and then suspend the grading of all but high-end cards amid an avalanche of submissions. PSA has dramatically expanded its workforce and facilities and hopes to start accepting submissions again by July.
“Acquiring and integrating Genamint will allow us to grade more trading cards faster while improving accuracy,” said Nat Turner, executive chairman of Collectors Universe, PSA’s parent company. “The reputation PSA has established as the industry’s card grading authority is important to protect and enhance. This acquisition is one of the first steps toward furthering PSA’s capabilities as the foremost authority in grading trading cards.
“We’re not eliminating humans from the grading process,” Turner added. “We’re improving the process by adding technology.”
Kevin Lenane, the founder of Genamint, is the new VP of Product Management at PSA. Genamint and its operations team will be joining forces with PSA effective immediately. 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.
“I’m excited to start working with the team at PSA,” Lenane said in a statement. “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.”
PSA has experienced an unprecedented surge in card submissions and demand for its services over the past 14 months. The company was overwhelmed with a record 660,000 cards two days before raising its prices, ultimately leading to the grading suspension.
Turner told Action Network’s Darren Rovell that PSA got so many card submissions that it essentially shut down the U.S. Postal Service in Southern California.
“We literally broke the postal service,” Turner said. “We couldn’t tell our customers where their packages were, and that’s just not acceptable.”
PSA has made hundreds of new hires and more than tripled its operational footprint to help catch up with the record number of submissions. The company is currently hiring new graders and is working through the backlog by grading 20,000-25,000 cards per day, Turner said.
Beyond the acquisition of Genamint, the company plans on making additional significant investments in technology and operational capacity, PSA officials said.