NFT maker Doodles announced a $54 million raise at a valuation of $704 million on Tuesday, led by Reddit co-founder and NFT enthusiast Alexis Ohanian’s venture capital firm 776.
Acrew Capital, FTX Ventures and 10T Holdings also participated in the round.
Launched in October 2021 by former CryptoKitties team lead Jordan Castro, illustrator Scott Martin and NFT consultant Evan Keast, Doodles’ pastel colored profile pictures are one of the most popular NFT collections on the market. They rank ninth on OpenSea in terms of all time sales volume at 148 ETH ($258,000) and have a current floor price of 8.5 ETH.
The news came amid growing concern about the collection’s sudden lack of activity on Twitter. The funding announcement was the first post from the company’s official account since it retweeted a video of one of the cofounders opening a box with a doodle toy in it on July 29.
In a Tweet thread, Doodles said it would use the funding to grow its team from 11 people to 30, adding that its careers page would go live next week with 18 new full-time positions including heads of finance, business affairs and marketing, as well as engineers, designers and illustrators. It has already hired a head of brand partnerships, former Fortune 500 veteran Brandon Rosenblatt.
“All of these hires will be meticulously crafted to accomplish Doodles’ long-term goal of being the most important Web3 native entertainment brand in the world,” it said.
The hiring spree bucks the trend seen throughout much of the crypto industry in recent months. Since the market downturn, several major companies have announced layoffs including at NFT marketplace OpenSea, Coinbase and Gemini.
More details about the announcement will be provided on a Twitter spaces session at 8pm ET.
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