Metaplex Foundation, the developer of the Solana-based NFT protocol Metaplex, has raised $46 million in a funding round.
Multicoin Capital and Jump Crypto co-led the round, with Solana Ventures, Alameda Research, and Animoca Brands participating.
The round also saw particularly high interest from former and current professional basketball players, including Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Joel Embiid, Kevin Love, and Obadiah Toppin. In all, more than 90 individual investors joined the round, including American rapper Snoop Dogg.
This was Metaplex Foundation's first fundraise and realized via a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT) sale, its director Stephen Hess told The Block. The foundation will launch its own native governance token called META in the near future, said Hess.
With fresh capital in hand, Metaplex Foundation plans to support projects that are creating new developer tools based on the Metaplex protocol. The Metaplex protocol helps users build their own NFT marketplaces on the Solana blockchain.
The Metaplex protocol was launched in June 2021 and claims to have helped create over 5 million Solana-based NFTs for 85,000 projects so far. Some of these projects include the Degenerate Ape Academy, Nyan Heroes, Cryptokickers, and Solana Monkey Business.
Compared to Ethereum, Solana helps to mint and buy NFTs at a cheaper cost due to its lower transaction fees.