- Series A funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz
- Rapper Jay Z, YouTube star MrBeast and musician and producer 3LAU also participated in the round
Bitski, a company that builds online NFT storefronts for creators, has raised $19 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Rapper Jay Z, YouTube star MrBeast and musician and producer 3LAU also participated in the round, which brings Bitski’s total funding to date to $23.4 million. Previous investors include Galaxy Digital, Winklevoss Capital and Coinbase Ventures.
The San Francisco-based startup sells subscription plans to creators for their NFT storefronts so they can engage with buyers directly rather than selling through larger marketplaces like Nifty Gateway or OpenSea. In that sense it’s positioning itself as the “Shopify for NFTs.”
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are tokens that represent ownership of a unique piece of digital property (like art). Because they represent something unique, they can’t be traded for other tokens the way digital assets like bitcoin can.
The market capitalization for NFTs soared to $338 million in 2020, compared to $142 million in 2019 and almost $41 million the year before that, according to NonFungible, an NFT data and market analysis platform.
The NFT craze has continued into the first half of 2021. In March, Mike Winkelmann (aka Beeple) sold his work “Everydays – The First 5,000 Days” for $70 million at Christie’s, the first ever digital artwork sale by a major action house. Since then Dapper Labs, the creator of CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, and NFT art platform SuperRare both raised millions of dollars in funding; Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume, said last week it would launch an NFT marketplace next month.
NFTs are extending beyond NBA Top Shot fans too. Model Emily Ratajkowski is selling an NFT at Christie’s, a piece of art created by the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia is being sold as an NFT for more than $1 million, and Television host Ellen DeGeneres dropped her first NFT, on Bitski, last week.