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FirstMate raises $3.75 million in Dragonfly-led round

Quick Take

  • Founded last year, the startup wants to refocus NFT marketplaces on creators.

FirstMate, a startup aiming to equip NFT creators with digital storefronts, raised $3.75 million in a round led by Dragonfly Capital — the crypto VC that raised $650 million for its third fund last year. Coinbase Ventures and NextView also participated in the round, which was announced today.

FirstMate concurrently unveiled the beta launch of its marketplace website builder, for which it has partnered with Manifold, another startup in the NFT space.

The startup’s CEO, Jacob Frantz, said in a written statement that “creators, artists, and platforms today are beholden to one-size-fits-all marketplaces that fail to create, sustain, or grow the direct connection that creators and collectors tell us they want, and simply don’t have their interests at heart.”

Creators first

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FirstMate’s focus, conversely, is on creators rather than marketplaces, according to the announcement. This manifests in allowing artists to pool all their works together on one platform, regardless of where those pieces were created, and by handing them total control over royalties.

Founded in 2022 by former employees of Instagram and Walmart, FirstMate has so far rolled out marketplaces on behalf of Bankless, Gmoney’s 9dcc, FELT Zine, Sound.xyz and others. Its marketplaces currently support over one thousand collections, spanning everything from generative art to luxury clothing.


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About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.

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