NFT marketplace OpenSea announced it has raised $23 million in a new round of venture capital funding led by a16z Crypto. A16z is the cryptocurrency-obsessed arm of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Founded by Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah in 2017, OpenSea is now the second-biggest non-fungible tokens (NFTs) platform by trading volume.
The platform sells everything from digital collectible trading cards, digital real estate in Decentraland, to domain names for Ethereum wallets. Riding on the NFT wave, OpenSea saw tremendous growth, with its transaction volume growing 100x in the last six months.
Multiple crypto-focused investors are participating in the round, including AngelList cofounder Naval Ravikant; Coinbase’s former tech chief Balaji Srinivasan; and Ryan Selkis of crypto market-tracker Messari.
Additionally, OpenSea is receiving backing from renowned entrepreneurs like tech investor Mark Cuban, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, Ron Conway, founder of SV Angel, among others. American electronic dance music producer 3LAU also participated in the round.
“We just think there is a huge market. I mean, look at Apple last year. People purchased $61 billion of digital content” on the App Store, Kathryn Haun, Andreessen partner, told Fortune.
Fireblocks Receives BNY Mellon Investment
“We don’t think it’s silly or faddish at all,” Haun says, referring to the NFT craze. “We recognize there could be cycles. We’re crypto investors, so we’re very comfortable with that, and we’re very used to it. We’re in this for the long haul.”
“We really wanted to bring on a lot of folks who combine the crypto world with the sort of artist and creative world, because that’s where we see NFTs really blossoming,” Finzer told Fortune.
On the other hand, Fireblocks completed a $133 million Series C funding round. Participating investors include Coatue, Ribbit, Stripe, and BNY Mellon. Existing investors such as Paradigm and Galaxy Digital are investing once again.
Fireblocks provides cryptocurrency custody to institutional investors, with products allowing clients to store, transfer and issue digital assets.
With the investment, BNY Mellon plans to tap Fireblocks as part of a plan to hold digital assets on behalf of its customers.
To date, FireBlocks has completed $400 billion in crypto asset transfers for 230 clients including banks, hedge funds, and exchanges. It has onboarded 70 new clients in the past few months, and will likely have 80 new customers by the end of this quarter.
The crypto custody firm has expanded to Asian-Pacific countries, opening two new offices in Hong Kong and in Singapore.