Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are betting on OpenSea, a leading marketplace for buying and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
In a statement, OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer says the startup raised $23 million in its Series A funding round with a16z leading the investors’ pool.
Newfound NFT and crypto advocate Mark Cuban, whose NBA franchise recently announced support for the meme cryptocurrency Dogecoin (DOGE), is also investing in the NFT project. Cuban and a16z are joined by former AngelList CEO Naval Ravikant, investor and lifestyle guru Tim Ferriss, American DJ 3LAU, Adam Goldberg’s Standard Crypto and others.
The announcement comes as OpenSea experiences massive growth amid exploding popularity of NFTs – digital goods such as artworks, parcels of virtual land, and collectibles with unique cryptographic properties that can be verified on the blockchain.
The startup says its transaction volume grew by over 100x over the last six months as creators, musicians, artists, influencers, and gamers jump into NFTs. From $8 million in January, sales of digital merchandise on the marketplace shot up to $95 million in February.
A16z sees OpenSea as the eBay and Amazon of non-fungible tokens, says the venture firm’s general partner Katie Haun.
“OpenSea makes NFTs searchable, usable, and organized. But it goes further and provides a marketplace that brings all platforms together and eases transactions among all parties, the way eBay and Amazon do. Given the importance of this consumer layer in such a fast-growing area, it’s no surprise that OpenSea’s growth has been off the charts, with transaction volume growing 100x in the last six months.”
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