Last year marked a turning point for digital collectables and what buyers are willing to pay for them.
That was proven by NFT collectors Metakovan and Twobadour in March last year, after they bought the highest priced NFT in history – a $69 million digital art piece created by Beeple and auctioned at Christies.
The big-money NFT hype shows no signs of slowing down in 2022 either, as we learn that NFT marketplace OpenSea has raised $300 million in Series C funding at a $13.3 billion valuation.
OpenSea, which lists NFTs across various categories including music, art, sports and more, was founded in 2017 and counts over 600,000 users.
The company says that it saw its transaction volume increase by over 600x in 2021.
Investment firms Paradigm and Coatue led the round and OpenSea says that it also saw participation from new and existing investors.
According to OpenSea, it has four goals for this funding, which are to accelerate the platform’s product development, “significantly improve customer support and customer safety” and “meaningfully invest in the wider NFT and Web3 community”.
In July 2021, OpenSea raised $100 million led by a16z, with participation from Coatue, along with Michael Ovitz, Kevin Hartz, Dylan Field, Kevin Durant, Ashton Kutcher, and Tobi Lutke.
The company also plans to grow its team and has already hired Shiva Rajaraman as its new VP of Product.
Shiva joins OpenSea from Meta, where he was the VP of Commerce.
“We are committed to expanding the entire NFT ecosystem.”
Devin Finzer, OpenSea
In a bog post announcing the new funding, Devin Finzer co-founder and CEO of OpenSea, said: “We’re focused on lowering the barriers to entry for NFTs by introducing features and simplified flows that abstract away the complexity of the blockchain.
“We’re also accelerating our multi-chain support and prioritizing improvements to help people discover, manage, and showcase their NFTs with better tools, analytics, and presentation.
He added: “We are committed to expanding the entire NFT ecosystem. This quarter, we are launching a grant program to give us the opportunity to directly support the developers, builders, and creators shaping the future of the NFT space.
“Our ambition is to foster the scale and growth of the broader NFT ecosystem including raising the profile of emerging creators and investing in the people who shape the NFT space for the better today.”Music Business Worldwide