Paradigm and Coatue led a $300 million investment that cements NFT marketplace OpenSea as one of the most valuable private firms in crypto.
OpenSea announced Tuesday evening that investors valued the company at $13.3 billion in its Series C funding round, a significant increase from the $1.5 billion valuations the startup received in a $100 million Series B funding round last July. The New York Times was the first to report the news.
Tuesday’s big numbers show how quickly OpenSea has established itself as a leading trading venue for non-fungible tokens. The company said in a blog post that it plans to use the funding for product development, hiring, startup investments, and “significantly improving customer support and security.”
Despite some high-profile user mistakes, business is going very well for OpenSea. In the last 30 days alone, the marketplace for valuable profile photos and other digital collectibles recorded 1.6 million Ethereum transactions and $2.4 billion in trading volume, according to data compiled by DappRadar.
The company was founded by Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah in 2017, long before NFTs had attracted mainstream interest. CoinDesk’s first article on OpenSea – for a $2 million funding round led by crypto firm 1confirmation VC – called it “an Ebay for CryptoKitties.”
“Devin and Alex have shown true courage over the past four years by weathering uncertainty and sticking to their vision of NFTs as an Internet- and world-changing primitive,” Fred Ehrsam, Paradigm’s managing partner, told CoinDesk via email.
OpenSea’s latest round of funding is another sign of the boom times for crypto venture capital, with over $30 billion in investment flowing into crypto startups in 2021.
There have been higher valuations in recent months. By comparison, FTX’s October funding round valued the crypto exchange at a whopping $25 billion.
OpenSea, however, could be the king of the NFTs. Dapper Labs, the company behind NBA Top Shot and the Flow blockchain, received a $7.6 billion valuation in another Coatue-led funding round in September.
A request for comment sent to OpenSea was not returned by press time.
Katie Haun, until recently a partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), participated in the OpenSea round through her new firm KRH, a spokesperson said via email. This confirms an earlier report Tuesday by tech reporter Eric Newcomer that the funding round was in the works with Haun’s participation.
Haun led both OpenSea’s Series A and Series B rounds in 2021 when she was at a16z and sits on the NFT company’s board.