This week, the non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea declared that it had raised $300 million in Series C funding backed by Coatue and Paradigm. The company is now valued at more than $13.3 billion just four years after it was created.
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OpenSea announced the investment will enable it to plunge deeper into NFTs and Web 3.0 ventures, increase its staff, beef up security and customer service, and continue developing its product, including making it more accessible to consumers unfamiliar with crypto and NFTs. The company also plans to unveil a grant for NFT creators and blockchain builders.
Founded in 2017, OpenSea is a digital marketplace based on customized Ethereum smart contracts designed for the purchase and sale of unique digital assets. The company is primarily known as a NFT marketplace, and has previously attracted over $100 million in funding from the investment firm Andreessen Horowitz and Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher.
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Last year, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) ratcheted up more than $14 billion in sales, with digital collectibles and art constituting 91% of transactions, according to OpenSea.
As the central repository for buying and selling NFTs, OpenSea's popularity has surged over the past year. This year alone, OpenSea's trade volume has already generated over $700 million.
According to PitchBook, last year over $3 billion in investments were directed toward NFTs, and more than $28 billion poured into cryptocurrency and NFT companies globally.
“In 2021, the world woke up to the potential of NFTs to unlock utility and economic empowerment across a vast set of industries, communities and creative categories,” Devin Finzer, an OpeanSea founder told the New York Times. “Our vision is to be the destination for these new open digital economies to thrive.”