One of the original NFT marketplaces, MakersPlace, has announced a $30 million Series A round of venture financing on Aug 4, led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Pantera Capital. It also includes a number of backers from the venture arm of Coinbase and Sony Music Entertainment to many important persons in the worlds of sports, music, and art.
Into the funding round was involved the most prominent art names, including Acquavella Galleries, former Sotheby’s CEO Bill Ruprecht, and Sabrina Hahn, a director at Pace, as well as, OpenSea and SuperRare NFT platforms investor due to her family’s Asia Alpha venture firm. From sports, Shari Glazer and Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. have put in their money to MakersPlace as well as Eminem and Paul Rosenberg from the music world.
Speaking of the volatile NFT market, MarkersPlace co-founder Dannie Chu with his former Pinterest colleague, Yash Nelapati, and Ryoma Ito, said that “you’ll probably hear from us again in six months when we have a billion-dollar valuation.”
Seemingly, they referred to OpenSea raised $23 million in March only to return to the venture market two weeks ago and garner another $100 million at a $1.5 billion valuation.
Chu insists the $30 million war chest he has secured for MakersPlace will provide the company with “a couple of years of funding” even if the NFT markets go bearish. As the value of NFTs is widely assumed to be tied to the price of cryptocurrencies like Ether, Chu and his colleagues are focused on building a path toward better ownership models for digital creators.
Earlier, MakersPlace had played a central role in the emergence of NFTs in the art market. The platform had issued to market “Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” which sold for $69.3 million at Christie’s in March. The company claims more than $100 million in sales volume over the last 12 months; however, that figure does include the $69.3 million paid for the Beeple. Volume isn’t the only metric that has risen dramatically. MakersPlace also cites a ten-fold increase in the number of active collectors on the platform since August 2020.
Reportedly, OpenSea trading volume to explode 76,240% year-to-date. According to DappRadar data, the total incoming value to OpenSea’s NFT deals increased by this week to $56.07 million compared to $73,556 on Jan. 1. Meanwhile, the marketplace’s user count increased from 315 to 14,520 in the same period — a 4,423% increase.