Every Super Bowl player wants to “put a ring on it,” but not all fingers were created equal. Sometimes it costs the NFL just a bit more to spring for a World Championship ring. In 1985, the jewelers appointed by the NFL had to supersize the Super Bowl XX ring awarded to mighty Chicago Bears tackle William “Refrigerator” Perry.
Reportedly, there wasn’t even a jeweler’s device capable of producing an accurate measurement of the Fridge’s ring finger, but the estimate was an unbelievable size 25. It was the largest Super Bowl Championship ring ever made.
Perry parted with his ring at some point, and it changed ownership multiple times after that. Most recently it was in the spotlight at Heritage’s July 30, 2015 auction. An individual who bid online through LiveAuctioneers.com claimed the gridiron super-prize for $203,150 (inclusive of buyer’s premium).
NEW YORK (LAPRS) ‐ LiveAuctioneers, the world’s leading online platform for live auctions of collectibles, antiques, and fine art, announced today that it has obtained a $47.6M round of funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. This investment is one of the largest financing events for a technology-enabled auction marketplace and will enable the company to make deep investments in talent, product innovation, marketing, international expansion and acquisitions. In conjunction with the investment, Bessemer partner Brian Feinstein will be joining LiveAuctioneers’ board of directors.
“After a decade of building LiveAuctioneers without any outside investment, we’re excited to partner with Bessemer and leverage the firm’s expertise, capital, access to talent, and experience building market-defining Internet businesses to drive our next decade of growth,” said co-founder and Chairman, Julian Ellison. “We were the first in our industry to bring timed auctions to market. We were the first to bring both desktop and mobile-enabled bidding tools to the industry. And, we’re thrilled to have even more resources available to continue to be the innovation trailblazer in the online live auction industry.”
The capital raise follows a record year for LiveAuctioneers during which the company helped to facilitate almost $3 billion worth of gross merchandise sales by connecting nearly one million collectors and dealers from around the globe with over 2,500 auction houses and sellers of one-of-a-kind items.
“The founding team has done a tremendous job building LiveAuctioneers into the top platform in the industry. We’re delighted to provide the company with additional resources to execute on its goals of enhancing the user experience for our network of bidders and investing deeply in tools to assist our auction house partners,” said Feinstein.
Founded in 2002, LiveAuctioneers is the world’s leading platform for live and timed auctions of collectibles, antiques, and fine art, enabling over 2,500 auctioneers and other purveyors of unique inventory to host auctions online. LiveAuctioneers is the largest marketplace of its kind and attracts its network of nearly one million bidders to its auctions each month via its desktop and mobile tools. For more information, visit www.liveauctioneers.com.
About Bessemer Venture Partners
Founded in 1911, Bessemer Venture Partners invests in early-stage, hyper-growth startups, partnering closely with entrepreneurs to build durable businesses. Bessemer is a global firm with offices in Menlo Park, Cambridge, New York, Mumbai, Bangalore, Herzliya and Sao Paolo. With $4 billion under management, Bessemer invests from $100,000 to $75 million in innovative companies like LinkedIn, Yelp, Skype, CornerstoneOnDemand, Pinterest, Box and Twilio. Over 100 Bessemer companies have gone public. Last year alone, Bessemer had 5 IPOs, 7 M&A exits, and 20 new investments. For more information, visit www.bvp.com.