NBA stars join $12 million funding round for CryptoKitties creator Dapper Labs

A group of players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) is among the investor group backing Dapper Labs' new $12 million funding round.

The Brooklyn Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie and Garrett Temple, the Miami Heat's Andre Iguodala, Los Angeles Lakers' JaVale McGee, and Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic are among those providing a new round of funding to the startup, best known for its Ethereum-based game CryptoKitties.

Dapper Labs raised the funding for its new blockchain, “Flow.” The Vancouver-based company built the blockchain to address challenges it was facing in launching and building products on Ethereum.

According to the announcement, the money will be used to continue the development of Flow. The company also received additional investments from new investors such as Coinbase Ventures and existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures.

According to co-founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou, Dapper Labs will use its newly secured funds to work on additional projects, including partnerships with Warner Music Group, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). 

To date, Dapper Labs has sold $1.2 million worth of digital NBA cards on Flow. The cards were sold through NBA Top Shop, a beta app developed by the company. 

"Blockchain is going to fundamentally alter the financial industry and have a major impact on consumers," said Dinwiddie. "Flow can create the vehicle for consumers to enter the space through products like NBA Top Shot where they have fun, but at the same time create a new self-sovereignty."