(Dapper Labs photo)
New financing: Dapper Labs raised $ 305 million on a reported valuation of $ 2.6 billion. The Vancouver, BC startup supports NBA Top Shot, a popular NFT-based digital trading card game that has sales of more than $ 467 million in the past five months.
Top shot: Dapper is partnering with the NBA to run the infrastructure for Top Shot via Flow, the blockchain product that also supports CryptoKitties’ digital collectibles. Dapper gets a cut on every top shot transaction and the NBA earns royalties.
NFT enthusiasm: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are the talk of the world in technology. With NFTs, users can own limited edition verified digital assets and buy, sell or trade them on marketplaces. NFTs draw on the same interests and habits of traditional collectors, but in a modern version. People are spending $ 69 million on a digital artwork or $ 2.9 million on a tweet.
Investors: NBA legend Michael Jordan and two-time champion Kevin Durant invested in the round as well as a bevy of players from the NBA, NFL and MLB, as well as several entertainment and music stars. Coatue Management – which led the way – a16z, The Chernin Group, USV, Version One and Venrock also invested. Total funding to date is $ 357 million.
Dapper, which has fewer than 100 employees, is led by Roham Gharegozlou, the former CEO of Axiom Zen.