- Dapper Labs, the startup behind NBA Top Shot, announced new funding of $ 305 million on Tuesday.
- The round comes from over 30 professional athletes and venture capitalists, including Michael Jordan.
- With this investment, Dapper Labs plans to expand its platform to other sports leagues.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
Dapper Labs, the startup behind the NBA Top Shot virtual trading card platform, has closed a $ 305 million fundraising round as the market for digital collectibles continues to climb, the company said on Tuesday.
Led by investment firm Coatue, the tour includes Michael Jordan, current NBA players like Kevin Durant, Alex Caruso, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala, as well as several other professional MLB and NFL athletes. Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, 2 Chainz, Venrock, The Chernin Group and USV are also involved in the tour.
The funding round brings Dapper Labs’ valuation to $ 2.6 billion, a source close to the company told Insider, and comes as the company’s Top Shot platform explodes in popularity.
Developed in conjunction with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, the Top Shot Marketplace allows fans to collect and trade officially licensed basketball clips called “moments.”
Since launching in October, the platform has attracted 802,000 users and posted revenue of $ 483 million, a spokesperson told Insider. The platform sees millions of dollars of moments changing hands every day, with some exceptionally few selling for $ 100,000 or more.
Read more: NFTs like NBA Top Shot are fueling a boom in the million dollar sports card trade. The CEO of a fractional sports investment platform explains why digital collectibles are “the perfect intersection of passion and profit”.
The new funding brings the total capital raised by Dapper Labs to $ 357 million and will allow the company to expand Top Shot to other sports leagues. He announced his intention to develop digital collectibles for the UFC in early 2020.
“NBA Top Shot is a success because it taps into the basketball fandom – it’s a new, more exciting way for people to connect with their favorite teams and players,” said Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, in a press release. “We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues and help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches to exploring open platforms.”
Founded in 2018, Dapper Labs is also behind another collecting game called CryptoKitties and has its own blockchain system called Flow.
Top Shot Moments are a form of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, essentially digital acts that grant someone ownership of a particular medium on the web. Although NFTs have been around for years, the market around them peaked in 2021, with many digital art pieces selling in the millions.