• Roberts worked at Lyft for seven years and is known for playing a large role in helping the company go public in a multi-billion dollar IPO
  • OpenSea has processed over $10 billion in gross merchandising sales

OpenSea, the largest non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, has appointed former Lyft executive Brian Roberts as the start-up’s first Chief Financial Officer (CFO), according to a report by Bloomberg on Monday. 

“I haven’t been this excited about something in a very long time,” he told Bloomberg. “It reminds me of 1995 eBay.”

Along with OpenSea’s newest hire, the marketplace may be trying to secure additional funding, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Devin Finzer confirmed to Bloomberg. Both OpenSea and Roberts have declined to comment further on the matter.  

Although it’s the tech veteran’s first foray into cryptocurrency full time, he is already planning on how to take the company public.

“When you have a company growing as fast as this one, you’d be foolish not to think about it going public,” he said. “It would be well-received in the public market, given its growth.”

During his seven years at Lyft as CFO, the company saw $7 billion in capital raised, along with a successful initial public offering (IPO).

“While I have no intention of changing my license plate from GOLYFT, it is time for me to find new challenges in a new space,” Robert wrote in a LinkedIn post on Friday. “This will be my next great journey to learn, grow and help shape the future.”

The hiring report follows a whirlwind of a year for OpenSea. 

Amid insider trading allegations that shook the marketplace and ultimately led to a resignation from former Product Head Nate Chastain, the start-up has also experienced explosive growth in 2021. 

Founded in 2017,  the platform has processed over $10 billion in gross merchandise value and has a valuation of roughly $12 billion. In August, OpenSea became the first NFT marketplace to hit $1 billion in monthly trading volume.

Specifically, trading volume on the platform was over $200 million in August compared to an average of less than $100,000 last December, according to DappRadar.

“Over the next few years we’ll help build a brand new, open, digital economy,” Finzer said in a blog post on Monday. “I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future.”

Lyft Inc. stock closed on Monday’s news 6.28% higher, at $41.95 per share.

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  • Morgan Chittum is a New York-based reporter covering NFTs, the metaverse, play-to-earn gaming and other emerging Web3 tech for Blockworks. Previously she was a street reporter, covering crime at New York Daily News, and a media and journalism fellow at the Poynter Institute. Contact Morgan via email at [email protected]