NFT boom apes OpenSea to $13bn valuation
The platform for non-fungible tokens last raised just six months ago at a tenth of its new valuation.
OpenSea, a leading marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has raised a $300m Series C funding round at a $13.3bn valuation.
Paradigm and Coatue led the round with participation from new and existing investors.
NFTs were one of the most hyped areas of tech in 2021 with large auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s embracing auctions of digital artworks and bringing the market to a global audience.
Prices for NFTs skyrocketed as interest increased at breakneck speed. Adherents believe the market for NFTs can grow exponentially, especially through so-called ‘Web3’ channels such as Meta (formerly Facebook’s) pivot into the ‘metaverse’.
OpenSea last raised cash in a $100m Series B financing led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), valuing the company at $1.5bn in July 2020. This makes a near ten-fold increase in its valuation in just six months.
“We saw the NFT ecosystem explode last year, with OpenSea’s transaction volume increasing over 600x in 2021,” said Devin Finzer, co-founder and CEO of OpenSea.
“In 2021, we saw the world awaken to the idea that NFTs represent the basic building blocks for brand new peer-to-peer economies,” he said.
The new cash will be used to accelerate product development, significantly improve “customer support and customer safety”, investMENT in the wider NFT and Web3 community as well as a rapid expansion of the OpenSea team.
“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,” Finzer added.