NFT marketplace OpenSea has raised $100 million in a Series B round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The new funding values the company at $1.5 billion, effectively making OpenSea a unicorn, or a startup with an over $1 billion total valuation.
Participants in the round include talent and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Michael Ovitz, Kevin Durant and Ashton Kutcher. The announcement comes just four months after the marketplace closed a $23 million Series A round also led by a16z.
“With increasing market adoption around crypto economies, NFTs are quickly becoming the new internet,” co-founder and CEO of OpenSea Devin Finzer said in a statement. “As we continue to scale, our focus will remain on our customers, and providing the best user experience and entry point into NFTs.”
The New York-based platform, which launched in 2017, is a popular digital marketplace for crypto collectibles, NFTs and other rare digital items. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital items that exist on the blockchain and represent different types of files like audio, art, video and more.
OpenSea plans to use its new influx of funding to scale its NFT marketplace by hiring more engineers as well as expanding to new markets and audiences on a global scale.
While NFT activity experienced a slight decline since the boom earlier this year, trading volumes and weekly sales have picked back up.
OpenSea too has certainly continued to grow. In June 2021 alone, the platform sold $160 million in digital assets on its marketplace and experienced a 45% increase in volume growth in the first half of 2021.
Just yesterday, 12-year-old crypto artist @ObiWanBenoni made nearly $150,000 via OpenSea selling “Weird Whales,” a collection of 3550 AI-generated whales with unique characteristics and different traits.
In addition to individual sales, the OpenSea marketplace was also the launchpad for several high-volume collectible avatar projects like Hashmasks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Meebits, all of which launched this year.
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