NBA Top Shot Creator, Dapper Labs, Raises $305 Million from Top NBA Players and Celebrities
Dapper Labs, the company behind the in-demand NBA Top Shot, a collectibles app, raises $305 million in a celebrity-stacked investor pool. Former and current NBA players such as Michael Jordan & Kevin Durant, actors Will Smith, rapper 2 Chainz, and a couple of venture capital firms joined the round.
In a report by USA Today, top NFT collectibles app, NBA Top Shot creator Dapper Labs, is raising $305 million in its latest round of financing. The funding round was led by Coatue Ventures featuring several high-profile celebrities and NBA players, including Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Drummond, Alex Caruso, and Khris Middleton, among others.
Other high-profile investors in the round include Will Smith, Shawn Mendes and Andrew Gertler's AG Ventures, Shay Mitchell, and 2 Chainz. Venture capital firms participating in the round include Andreessen Horowitz (az16), Version One, and Barstool’s investor, The Chermin Group.
Launched in July 2019, NBA Top Shot is an NBA-licensed product that lets users purchase digital packs of cards (or “moments”) that can be instantly bought and sold through a marketplace.
Dapper Labs created and manages the Flow Blockchain, an NFT marketplace that sells the NBA Top Shot collectibles. According to a person familiar with the matter, the new funding will be used to expand the NFT marketplace to other sports, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Major League Baseball (MLB) associations.
“We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues as well as help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches in exploring open platforms,” Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou.
Speaking to USA Today, a spokesperson from Dapper Labs confirmed the latest round of financing would set the company's valuation at $2.6 billion.
If you are not familiar with the ongoing NFT mania: NFTs, short for non-fungible tokens, and are unique cryptographically secured collectibles such as digital art, pictures, music, video clips, GIF, etc. NFTs are stored on a blockchain, ensuring the uniqueness of these rare collectibles.
Over the past few weeks, NBA Top Shot has seen increased demands for its collectibles – reporting total gross revenue of $483 million from over 800,000 participants on the platform in March alone. The NBA Top Shot beta app also launched on the Samsung Galaxy Store back in October 2020.