OpenSea raises $300 million at $13 billion valuation, with backing from Coatue and Paradigm

NFT marketplace OpenSea has closed a $300 million Series C funding round that values the company at $13 billion.

The crypto startup disclosed the round following emerging reports of its multi-billion-dollar funding efforts. Earlier on Tuesday evening, sources told The Block that the firm, which raised at a $1.5 billion valuation last year, was planning to raise at a valuation as high as $15 billion, but investors have settled on a lower figure. Eric Newcomer first reported the $13 billion figure earlier Tuesday morning, revealing that hedge fund Coatue Management is leading the round. 

Sources later told The Block that crypto fund Paradigm, which raised a whopping $2.5 billion fund late last year, was also participating. 

Following the emerging reports, OpenSea co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer confirmed in a blog post that the company had raised $300 million. He said the money would be used to boost customer support and safety; to invest in the wider NFT and web3 community; and for hiring and product development. 

"We are committed to expanding the entire NFT ecosystem. This quarter, we are launching a grant program to give us the opportunity to directly support the developers, builders, and creators shaping the future of the NFT space," said Finzer. "Our ambition is to foster the scale and growth of the broader NFT ecosystem including raising the profile of emerging creators and investing in the people who shape the NFT space for the better today."

Other participants include the new crypto and web3-focused investment fund formed by Kathryn Haun, previously a partner at a16z.

Separately, Axios has reported that the firm is set to acquire Dharma in a deal that could value the project at more than $100 million. The terms of the deal are being "ironed out," according to the Axios report. 

The fresh injection of capital will help OpenSea to fend off new rivals in the non-fungible token (NFT) market, which includes fine art and digital collectible sets. Coinbase is preparing to launch its own NFT marketplace while FTX already has one up and running. 

Update: This piece was updated at 21:52 on January 4 to include details of OpenSea's blog post.