Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become big business in the music industry this year, with tens of millions of dollars being generated by the sale of these collectible digital assets.
Additionally, technology platforms that develop NFTs for artists and brands are also attracting the attention of major music companies looking to partner with them, and investors looking to put money behind them.
One such company is NFT marketplace Bitski, which revealed today that it has raised $19 million in series A funding from a star-studded list of backers from across the worlds of entertainment, sports, music and gaming.
Among the company’s new investors are Roc Nation Co-Founder Jay Brown, Troy Carter, Jay-Z, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and 3LAU, who sold his own NFT collection for $11.6m in February.
Launched in 2018, Bitski lets brands, game developers, and consumers create, sell, and purchase NFTs on its platform.
The company says that this phase of investment will support its ambitions to “make the NFT economy more accessible for creators, brands and enterprises”.
Bitski offers a free trial (it’s free until you publish an NFT) and three tiers of plans after that, which range from $99 to $1,499 per month.
Bitski’s new investors also include Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), including the firm’s Cultural Leadership Fund; Marcy Ventures; Metapurse, purchasers of Beeple’s $69m NFT sold at Christie’s; Andrew Gertler’s AG Ventures, Trevor McFedries (Creator of Miquela); Night Media (MrBeast), Serena Williams, Wendi Murdoch and senior executives across TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, 100 Thieves, Adobe, and more, with continued support from Kindred Ventures and Galaxy Digital.
Bitski serves large brands such as Adidas, whose debut NFT was released today (May 6), created with No.1 NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence.
The company has also worked on WWE’s NFT release featuring superstar wrestler The Undertaker.
Bitski also created a custom storefront for virtual sneaker creators RTFKT and Staple Design founder Jeff Staple for the METAPIGEON release today.
“Bitski’s deliberate focus on simplifying the distribution and creation of NFTs is really exciting.”
Sriram Krishnan, a16z
Sriram Krishnan, general partner at a16z, said: “Bitski’s deliberate focus on simplifying the distribution and creation of NFTs is really exciting.
“Years of work building a secure and scalable crypto infrastructure has them perfectly positioned to be the best on-ramp to NFTs for brands and creators.”
“Bitski has from day one had a firm vision as a platform, and is fast becoming a destination for brands and developers to plug into and easily transact in this new frontier of e-commerce.”
Andrew Gertler of AG Ventures
Andrew Gertler of AG Ventures, added: “I’m so excited to be able to play a small role investing in a company that is doing some really incredible things in the commercialization and accessibility of digital goods.
“Lead by an incredible founder in Donnie, Bitski has from day one had a firm vision as a platform, and is fast becoming a destination for brands and developers to plug into and easily transact in this new frontier of e-commerce.”
“Like web browsers in the late 90s, most NFTs are barely scratching the surface of their true potential.”
Donnie Dinch, Bitski
Donnie Dinch, CEO of Bitski, said: “I think of NFTs as a platform. Like web browsers in the late 90s, most NFTs are barely scratching the surface of their true potential.
“NFTs unlock an imaginative, new design space for interacting with digital content.
“The implications around ownership and programmability are the most exciting technical developments we’ve seen in years.”Music Business Worldwide