Venture Capital: Pioneering NFT Marketplace OpenSea Turns Unicorn After $100M Funding
The Andreessen Horowitz-led round valued OpenSea at $1.5 billion.
NFTs are digital assets residing on a blockchain such as digital art, music, videos, games, even code. The blockchain certifies to the asset’s uniqueness and its ownership. Founded in 2017, OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace that benefited handsomely from the explosion in interest in NFTs this year. Evidently, non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) are not a digital flash in the pan, judging from OpenSea’s latest valuation. (FAST COMPANY)
NFTs, a paradigm shift
OpenSea announced in a blog post its $100 million raise led by Andreessen Horowitz (a.k.a “a16z”), with participation from Coatue, along with Michael Ovitz, Kevin Hartz, Dylan Field, Kevin Durant, Ashton Kutcher, and Tobi Lutke. With the raise, OpenSea turned unicorn, earning a valuation of $1.5 billion.
OpenSea also claimed in the blog that the blockchain represented one of the most exciting paradigm shifts in the history of technology, and that NFTs were emerging as one of the first consumer-oriented killer applications for blockchains.
“NFTs represent the building blocks for brand new peer to peer economies, where users have greater freedom and ownership over their data, and developers can build powerful, interoperable applications to provide real economic value to users,” OpenSea said.
According to a CoinTelegraph report which quoted DappRadar, overall sales of NFTs rocketed to a record $2.5 billion in the first six months of this year. This compared to a miniscule $13.7 million in the corresponding period last year. The same Coin Telegraph report said that NFT sales in June on the OpenSea platform touched $150 million, a record for a month.
a16z investment a huge plus for NFTs’ credibility
A large investment from a front-ranking VC firm such as Andreessen Horowitz in the NFT space is a message that the digital asset is here to stay, and not merely a one-trick-pony that could vanish over the horizon with investors’ funds once interest wanes.
OpenSea will use the money to expand its NFT platform and for additional hiring.
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