Dapper Labs has closed a $250 million funding round, the company behind NBA Top Shot and the Flow blockchain said Wednesday.
Coatue led the raise, which also included Andreessen Horowitz, Google’s GV and Version One Ventures. According to a source familiar with the deal, Dapper Labs received a $7.6 billion valuation.
“We’ve proved the concept, which is why our investors are so eager to partner with us,” Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, told CoinDesk in an interview.
Gharegozlou believes non-fungible token (NFT) highlights will be “the currency of fandom” and says the raise will help expand NBA Top Shot operations and lead to new sports ventures worldwide, including European soccer with its huge fan base.
The Dapper mega-round comes just a day after soccer NFT giant Sorare raised $680 million in a raise that valued the Paris-based fantasy sports platform at $4.3 billion.
Gharegozlou sees room in the burgeoning space for multiple companies.
“Companies like Sorare can be complementary to us,” he told CoinDesk, adding:
“They’re much more focused on fantasy, while video is very important to us, and sets us apart.”
In a separate announcement Wednesday, Dapper Labs announced a partnership with LaLiga, Spain’s top professional soccer league, to launch a soccer marketplace.
The marketplace will feature digital collectibles from the league’s 20 teams, including world-renowned clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Like Dapper Labs’ wildly successful NBA Top Shot project, the LaLiga marketplace will run on the company’s Flow blockchain. Dapper Labs is planning to launch the soccer marketplace in the summer of 2022.
NBA Top Shot, the crown jewel of Dapper Labs’ suite, has seen exponential growth in the past year, with $780 million worth of collectibles traded on the platform across 1.1 million registered accounts in 2021. (Dapper’s initial flagship, CryptoKitties, has also seen a recent bump in trading activity.)
The Information first reported in April that a funding round valuing Dapper Labs at $7.5 billion was in the works.