One of the largest non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces, OpenSea, has raised $23 million in a Series A funding round led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), OpenSea said in a blog post on 18 March.
According to the announcement, the funding round also saw participation from angel investors such as Ron Conway, Mark Cuban, Tim Ferriss, Belinda Johnson, Naval Ravikant, Ben Silberman, and others. The newly acquired funds will be used to further OpenSea’s mission of building the “world’s best, largest, and most trusted marketplace” for this new type of digital asset. Katie Haun, general partner at a16z, said in a statement:
“Just like Zillow takes raw real estate data and makes it usable in a trusted and reliable way at your fingertips, OpenSea makes NFTs searchable, usable, and organized. But it goes further and provides a marketplace that brings all platforms together and eases transactions among all parties, the way eBay and Amazon do.”
One of the reasons behind a16z’s decision to back this NFT marketplace is its incredible growth — having increased its transaction volume by 100-fold in only six months — which according to Haun has been “off the charts”. She further complimented the the founders of OpenSea — saying they could only be described as “all-star” — Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah.
The OpenSea NFT marketplace further said it has partnered with creators such as 3LAU, RAC, and Justin Kan. Justin David Blau, also known as 3LAU, is among the first DJ’s to have tokenized a one of his special edition albums, the Ultraviolet Vinyl NFT Collection.
Andreessen Horowitz is among the first venture capital firms to have entered the crypto space, and has led investment rounds for a variety of crypto projects. In February, a16z decided to lead the Series A funding round for Optimism, a firm looking to boost the Ethereum network by providing it with Layer 2 scaling solutions.