The last time Music Ally wrote about NFTs marketplace OpenSea, it was having a rough week dealing with allegations of ‘insider buying’ – an executive snapping up NFTs before they were due to appear on the service’s homepage.
There’s a more positive story for the company this week: a $300m funding round that values OpenSea at $13.3bn. That’s a truly startling rise from the $1.5bn valuation the last time the company raised funding, in July 2021.
“We have four goals for this funding: 1) accelerate product development, 2) significantly improve customer support and customer safety, 3) meaningfully invest in the wider NFT and Web3 community, and 4) grow our team,” announced OpenSea last night.
The first of those includes hiring a new VP of product, Shiva Rajaraman. Perhaps a familiar name to some readers: he was VP of consumer product for Spotify between 2014 and 2016, before moving on to jobs at Apple, WeWork and Meta.
OpenSea is one of the most prominent NFT marketplaces, and it has been involved in music NFTs for some time. It added music as a category in May last year, with collections including NFTs from The Weeknd, Plastikman, the White Stripes and Duke Dumont currently browsable on its site.
The company’s $13.3bn valuation is eye-popping: as a comparison, it is two thirds of the value of Warner Music Group at the time of writing. However, the funding does put OpenSea in a good position to continue securing partnerships with labels and artists who are exploring NFTs.
With that in mind, its plans – also announced last night – to launch “a grant program to give us the opportunity to directly support the developers, builders, and creators shaping the future of the NFT space” this quarter may well be of interest.