OpenSeea will also become first cross Blockchain NFT Marketplace
OpenSea, digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has raised $100 million in Series B financing led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), valuing the company at $1.5 billion. The company is also launching official support for multiple blockchains, becoming the first cross-blockchain NFT marketplace.
A16z leads OpenSea’s latest funding round, with participation from Coatue and CAA, along with Michael Ovitz, Kevin Hartz, Kevin Durant and Ashton Kutcher. With this capital, OpenSea will continue to scale its NFT platform, with immediate focus on hiring engineering talent and expanding internationally to new markets and audiences, making buying and selling NFTs more accessible to users.
“The team at OpenSea realized early on the need for an open, cross-blockchain marketplace where anyone can buy, sell and create digital NFTs which is why they are one of the most important companies in crypto today,” said Kathryn Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and new addition to OpenSea’s board of directors. “We are thrilled to double down on this team, their technology and overall vision, as they continue to provide the best user experience for today’s creators, buyers and sellers, in one platform.”
The new injection of funding comes as OpenSea NFTs are expanding to more mainstream audiences, and represent an entirely new economy based on digital ownership. OpenSea is the largest marketplace for NFTs, representing gaming items, digital art and collectables, event tickets, domain names and over 25 million other assets backed by blockchains.
In June 2021 alone, OpenSea sold $160 million in digital assets on its NFT marketplace, and experienced a 45x increase in volume growth during the first half of 2021. High-volume collectible avatar projects like Hashmasks, Bored Ape Yacht Club and Meebits, which combine elements of art, blockchain tech and social clubs, have also taken off on OpenSea in 2021.
OpenSea provides both a marketplace and platform where users can easily connect their crypto wallets to instantly purchase or list their NFTs for sale. Today, the company announced support for the Polygon blockchain, eliminating gas fees for creators, buyers and sellers on the OpenSea marketplace. The company also plans to invest in its next phase of ecosystem growth with cross-blockchain support, enabling a truly open data economy. OpenSea’s marketplace currently supports Ethereum, Polygon and Klaytn, and has plans to add new chains like Flow and Tezos in the coming months. Investing in the interoperability and scalability of OpenSea’s cross-chain marketplace is part of the company’s larger vision to bring users closer to Web3.
“With increasing market adoption around crypto economies, NFTs are quickly becoming the new internet,” said Devin Finzer, Co-founder & CEO of OpenSea. “It’s pretty remarkable to be experiencing one of the biggest fundamental changes the internet economy has seen in decades. We’re proud to be leading this growing industry that we have been part of for a long time. As we continue to scale, our focus will remain on our customers, and providing the best user experience and entry point into NFTs.”
OpenSea launched in 2017, announcing a $2 million round a few months later from Founders Fund alongside industry-leading crypto firms. In March 2021, the company announced a $23 million Series A funding round led by a16z, with participation from existing investors and angels including Ron Conway, Mark Cuban, Belinda Johnson, Naval Ravikant, Ben Silbermann, and more.