OpenSea raises $23M to scale the largest marketplace for NFTs
When we started OpenSea in late 2017, we were excited about the prospect of a brand new economy on the internet. The GDP of the internet is already quite large on an absolute basis, but the internet has distributed its wealth and power in unanticipated and often non ideal ways. Far from the open, wild west days of early web pages and IRC chat, the internet today has consolidated around business models that rely on storing proprietary user data in the cloud. There’s a growing feeling that there are still critical building blocks missing from the internet — building blocks that could provide foundations for more vibrant, open economies in the digital world.
Blockchains provide those building blocks, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are giving us a taste of their power.
The NFT is a basic primitive for an open digital economy. NFTs are digital goods (think digital art, game items, domain names, and more) with brand new properties: they’re unique, provably scarce, liquid, user-owned, and usable across multiple applications. Simple but powerful, this new primitive is ushering in a renaissance in the digital world.
The internet is starting to feel truly alive again.
Creators, musicians, artists, influencers, and gamers are diving headfirst into NFTs. Hundreds of thousands of new users are discovering, collecting, curating, and trading NFTs on open marketplaces. Over just the last six months, transaction volume on the OpenSea NFT marketplace has grown over 100x. We’ve had the fortune to work with hundreds of projects and creators: from game companies to digital artists to musicians to professional athletes. The world is waking up to the power of this technology, and it’s happening quite suddenly.
At OpenSea, we are growing and shaping this economy by building the world’s best, largest, and most trusted marketplace for this new type of digital asset. Over the coming years, billions of people will be introduced to digital ownership, and we’ve built OpenSea as a trusted entrypoint into that world.
And we don’t want to do it alone. As we like to say: build an ocean, not an aquarium. Any NFT project or creator can plug into our marketplace without being wedded to a particular platform. The 20 million+ NFTs you can trade on OpenSea are not owned by OpenSea, they are owned by users. This is a huge paradigm shift, and the first glimpse into a world where users, not corporations, control their own data.
To help make this vision a reality, we’re excited to announce our $23M fundraise, with an incredible set of partners to support us on this journey. Andreessen Horowitz brings deep knowledge in crypto and unparalleled passion and devotion to the emerging web3 ecosystem. Innovative angel investors and leaders such as Naval Ravikant, Mark Cuban, Tim Ferris, Belinda Johnson, Ben Silbermann, Alexis Ohanian, and Balaji Srinivasan; crypto natives Standard Crypto, Linda Xie, Avichal Garg, and Flamingo DAO; creators like 3LAU, RAC, and Justin Kan; and NFT thought leaders like Andrew Steinwold, Metapurse, and Bill Lee are all partnering with us on this journey. Our existing investors, including 1Confirmation, Pascal Capital, Blockchain Capital, Regan Bozman, Kevin Hartz and Dylan Field from Figma, continue to provide their support through their participation in this round. A huge thank you to a fantastic group of investors.
If you are excited about the potential of true digital ownership, we are actively hiring. Check out our open roles and come join us to build the biggest economy on the planet.