Spartan Group, Infinity Ventures Crypto back NFT exchange NF3: Exclusive

Quick Take

  • NF3 has raised $1.65 million to build an exchange that enables swaps and options on NFTs.
  • It’s also launching ApeCoinStaking.io, a staking platform that combats geo restrictions that some Bored Ape Yacht Club holders were facing when trying to stake their Apecoin.

NF3, a one-stop-shop for NFT trading, has raised $1.65 million in a seed round co-led by Infinity Ventures Crypto and Spartan Group. 

Other backers include DWF Labs, Saison Capital and prominent angel investors including Bitmex founder Arthur Hayes, LeadBlock Partner’s David Chreng and Neil Gomes, EMEA head for fintech at Softbank, according to a company news release. 

NF3 was co-founded by Poorvi Sachar and Bored Ape Yacht Members Skittlewood and 0xStarmowa, both of whom are choosing to keep their identities private. 

The startup was formed out of a realization that core parts of existing NFT infrastructure weren’t catering to collectors like them, Skittlewood said in an interview with The Block. They designed the exchange to solve these problems by offering derivative solutions, including swaps that enable collectors to trade NFTs and options that offer a buy-now-pay-later construct. 

They are aiming to bring the “fun” back to collecting and trading NFTs, rather than just enabling collectors to flip them for profit or sweeping floor prices, Skittlewood said. 

Kelvin Koh, co-founder of Spartan Group, said in the release: The suite of products that NF3x is providing for its users go above and beyond spot buying and selling, and we’re excited to support them as they onboard the next generation of NFT traders and funds onto their platform.” 

Apecoin staking

The exchange will move into closed beta in the next few weeks, Skittlewood said. It’s also recently partnered with Solidity.io to launch ApeCoinStaking.io, which is a staking platform that combats geo restrictions some Bored Ape Yacht Club holders were facing when trying to stake their Apecoin. 

“Our goal with this platform is obviously we're launching the swaps and options, but we want to make it a one-stop-shop for web3 and its needs,” Skittlewood said. 

A multi-chain exchange

The platform is currently built on Ethereum, but it aims to be multi-chain, rolling out to chains where there are active NFT communities including Solana, Polygon and Tezos, Skittlewood said. It also aims to be cross-chain, which will enable people to swap assets between different blockchains, he added. 

The startup began raising for the round a week before the collapse of Terra-Luna, Skittlewood said. It was completed in the summer, following the collapse of hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, he added. 

The funds will go toward hiring and smart-contract auditing, Skittlewood said, adding that the fundraise should provide about 18 months of runway. 

“I am excited to support NF3x’s vision of a tech infrastructure providing transparency, security and flexibility in a space where existing P2P trading methods are capital inefficient, and extremely susceptible to scams and hacks,“ said David Chreng, founding partner of LeadBlock, in the news release. 

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