• Dapper Labs, the creator of CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, raised $305 million in new funding led by Coatue.
  • SuperRare, which has exploded in recent weeks with the increasing popularity of digital files, just closed a $9 million Series A round.

The nonfungible frenzy is still growing at warp speed. 

Two big NFT companies, SuperRare and Dapper Labs, have raised more money from big investors, and the Ethereum software company ConsenSys introduced a new NFT platform and its first project, with British artist Damien Hirst.

The events come a week after the launch of the NFT-focused social media platform, Nifty’s, of whom ex-Lukka chief commercial officer Jeremy Drane is cofounder. And over the weekend, NFTs made their debut on Saturday Night Live in a skit attempting to explain the digital art innovation through an Eminem parody.

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.

Dapper Labs

Dapper Labs, the creator of CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, raised $305 million in new funding led by Coatue, it announced Tuesday. Existing strategic investors including Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund a16z, The Chernin Group, Union Square Ventures, Version One and Venrock also participated alongside Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant and other National Basketball Association players.

NBA Top Shot has secured $500 million in sales and registered more than 800,000 accounts since last October, according to Dapper Labs. The legendary tech investor Glenn Hutchins said at an event last month that NFTs are one of the first good use cases for digital assets, and cited NBA Top Shot as an application that could make people obsess less over tokens and prices and show the true value of the networks that power them. (He’s also an investor in Dapper Labs.)

SuperRare

NFT art platform SuperRare, which has exploded in recent weeks with the increasing popularity of digital files, just closed a $9 million Series A round, the company announced Tuesday. Velvet Sea Ventures and 1confirmation led the round. Other investors include SamsungNext, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures and Mark Cuban, among others. 

Launched in 2018, SuperRare’s art platform is closed and early-access. The company reports that they plan on launching widely in the near future. SuperRare collects a 3% transaction fee for all art sales and a 15% gallery fee for primary sales. Creators receive 10% commission on all secondary sales of art, which is seen as one of the primary benefits of NFTs. 

Palm

Palm NFT Studio, a new token-powered NFT ecosystem, launched Tuesday and with an inaugural artist collection by Damien Hirst, who is best known for encrusting skulls with diamonds. Hirst plans to sell 10,000 works on paper, each connected to corresponding NFTs.

Palm was created by ConsenSys in conjunction with Heyday Films and art company Heni Group. It’s meant to be a more environmentally friendly ecosystem, following criticism that transactions on the Ethereum blockchain are energy-intensive when it comes to minting new digital art. 

Nifty Gateway

Yesterday the Gemini-owned Nifty Gateway pledged to become “carbon negative” this year by purchasing “offsets for 2x the amount of carbon footprint Nifty Gateway created from blockchain transactions” at the end of every month and building a greener NFT minting system, cofounders Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster said in a blog post.

  • Blockworks
    Reporter
    Casey Wagner covers digital assets and macro economics. Prior to joining Blockworks she was a markets reporter at Bloomberg.
  • Blockworks
    Senior Reporter
    Tanaya is a business journalist in New York covering financial services and the future of money. Previously, she was an on-air reporter and anchor at Cheddar. She has also worked at Digiday, American Banker and CoinDesk.