OpenSea is also home to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which just crossed the billion-dollar mark in sales.
OpenSea, the NFT marketplace start-up, has had a great start to 2022 after raising $300m in Series C funding, valuing the company at $13.3bn.
To put this in context, OpenSea was valued at $1.5bn by Andreessen Horowitz after its last funding round July 2021, a little more than six months ago. It also raised just $23m in its Series A round at the start of last year.
Co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer said the four-year-old firm saw its transaction volume increase 600 times in 2021, riding on an explosion in the NFT space last year. According to TechCrunch, $2.4bn in transactions was handled on OpenSea in the past 30 days alone.
“In 2021, we saw the world awaken to the idea that NFTs represent the basic building blocks for brand new peer-to-peer economies,” Finzer said in a blog post announcing the latest funding round.
“OpenSea’s vision is to become the core destination for these new open digital economies to thrive, building the world’s friendliest and most trusted NFT marketplace with the best selection.”
The Series C round was led by Web3 investment firm Paradigm, which recently launched a $2.5bn fund to back crypto companies and protocols, and tech investment firm Coatue.
Finzer said the funding will be used for product development, hiring more people and improving customer support, with the aim to double its customer support, trust and safety team by the end of this year. The start-up also plans to invest in the wider NFT and Web3 community.
Finzer also welcomed former Meta VP of commerce, Shiva Rajaraman, as the new VP of product at OpenSea. Rajaraman has previously held senior positions at WeWork, Spotify and Google.
OpenSea is home to the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a collection of 10,000 NFTs that live on the Ethereum blockchain, launched in April 2021. According to The Block, sales of BAYC NFTs have now crossed the billion-dollar mark.
Since its launch, BAYC has seen growing interest from celebrities ranging from basketball players to rap artists, including Stephen Curry, Martin Garrix, Post Malone and, most recently, Eminem. Companies such as Adidas have also ‘aped in’ to the Bored Ape NFT phenomenon.
Now, there are reports of OpenSea’s intention to buy Dharma Labs, which develops an Ethereum wallet to transfer money between banks and exchanges. According to Axios, the companies are in talks for an all-stock deal estimated to be valued between $110m and $130m.
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