a16z Leads $100M Round for NFT Unicorn OpenSea

The additional funding round brings the New York-based OpenSea valuation to $1.5 billion, giving the company unicorn status.

article-image

Devin Finzer, co-founder and CEO, OpenSea

share

key takeaways

  • “It’s becoming increasingly clear that blockchains represent one of the most exciting paradigm shifts in the history of technology,” the company said in a statement. “Just as the Internet transformed the global distribution of information, so blockchains will reimagine the global distribution of value,” it added
  • The new funding follows OpenSea’s most recent funding round of $23 million, also led by a16z, which was announced back in March

The first non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea raised $100 million in a Series B funding round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, or a16z, it announced Tuesday. 

The additional funding round brings the New York-based OpenSea valuation to $1.5 billion, giving the company unicorn status, which is when a privately held company or startup is valued over $1 billion. It is one of more than 900 unicorns in the global marketplace that make up a collective value of $3 trillion, according to data on the Crunchbase Unicorn Board. 

The company also announced cross-blockchain support, with a gas-free marketplace on the polygon blockchain. This means buyers don’t have to pay blockchain fees when making trades on OpenSea, it added. 

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that blockchains represent one of the most exciting paradigm shifts in the history of technology,” the company said in a blog post. “Just as the internet transformed the global distribution of information, so blockchains will reimagine the global distribution of value,” it added.

The round was led by a16z, which announced in late June that it was launching a $2.2 billion crypto fund that will invest in crypto-based networks and the founders and teams currently building within the digital assets space, Blockworks reported.

On Monday, a16z announced it promoted Arianna Simpson to general partner, roughly a year after she joined the company. 

Participants in this round include Coatue, along with Michael Ovitz, Kevin Hartz, Dylan Field, Kevin Durant, Ashton Kutcher, and Tobie Lutke. 

With this fundraising, OpenSea will continue to scale its NFT marketplace by hiring new talent and expanding on a global level into new markets. 

The new funding follows OpenSea’s most recent funding round of $23 million, also led by a16z, which was announced back in March. 

In general, there has been more headlines and adoption of NFTs as consumers want to purchase digital goods. NFTs are a simple primitive for digital goods like digital art, game items, domain names and more, while providing brand new properties, OpenSea wrote. 

In June, Binance launched its NFT marketplace with an auction featuring works from Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, Blockworks reported. 

“NFT technology has revolutionized the world of art for good, bringing the concept of digital ownership to life for the very first time,” Binance said in the press release. 

In 2021, the NFT market exceeded expectations with analysis showing between 1785% and 2100% growth in the first three months of 2021 alone, totalling more than $2 billion spent on NFT collectibles. 

While some speculate if the NFT growth is sustainable, the marketplace continues to trend and be promoted by celebrities and art connoisseurs. NFTs are being sold to collectors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts alike for millions of dollars in hopes of being the sole owner of these digital assets. 

“NFTs represent the building blocks for brand new peer to peer economies, where users have greater freedom and ownership over their data, and developers can build powerful, interoperable applications to provide real economic value to users,” the company said.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png

Research

Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.

/

article-image

Though the opposing flow trend is likely to slow over time, industry watchers note, bitcoin fund assets could one day eclipse the $90 billion gold ETF space

article-image

Celestia had the first mover advantage. EigenDA has staked ether. What sets Avail apart?

article-image

Bitcoin moved 1% higher Monday morning in New York, Matrixport analysts say $62,000 could happen next month

article-image

It’s hard to believe right now that crypto — even with all of its flexibility and massive capabilities — could ever be like cash on the internet

article-image

Michael Saylor announced Monday morning that MicroStrategy bought 3k more bitcoin after the X account was compromised over the weekend

article-image

Plus, Pudgy Penguins grows its brand and a group of Autoglyphs sell for $14.5 million