Digital& NFT

NFT Platform Explosion: Why OpenSea is Now Valued at $13+ Billion!

OpenSea is a leading platform that is used to buy and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital assets. Many industry watchers have been slow to accept NFTs in the world of collectibles or digital assets. And many of those who have accepted NFTs still have yet to dabble in them. OpenSea announced on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 that the platform has raised $300 million in additional funding. There is a lot more to this than meets the eye!

While the $300 million capital raise is a substantial number all on its own, what is even more substantial is what the valuation is post-funding. OpenSea raised this Series C round of capital at a $13.3 billion valuation.

It is one thing to just report about a funding round. For Collectors Dashboard, we wanted to dig deeper into what this actually means for NFTs, the metaverse (or metaverses)… and to further hammer home about how Web3 is rising whether anyone likes it or not.

Many people who have done little or no research are still looking at NFTs just as digital art. OpenSea is making sure that NFTs pertain to a wide array of digital goods and assets. The company’s own goal is to become the core destination for a new digital economy to thrive and to be the friendliest NFT marketplace that is also the most trusted and having the best selection.

OpenSea’s transaction volume was shown to have increased more than 600-times in 2021 versus 2020. That transaction volume has been reported to be roughly $15 billion in 2021, and other outside reports have shown that OpenSea’s NFT trading volume was already nearing the $1 billion mark just since the opening bell of 2022.

According to OpenSea’s release, Paradigm and Coatue led the funding round. New and existing investors participated (see below).

Another consideration here is that OpenSea’s Series B round of $100 million in funding was announced just last July. That $100 million round in 2021 valued the platform at $1.5 billion. It was led by a16z with participation from Coatue. Other investors included Michael Ovitz, Kevin Hartz, Dylan Field, Kevin Durant, Ashton Kutcher, and Tobi Lutke.

Many people are still trying to grasp the concept of Web3. So after $100 million in July and another $300 million just six months later, what will all of this capital actually be used for? OpenSea’s stated uses of the capital included:

  • accelerate product development,
  • significantly improve customer support and customer safety,
  • meaningfully invest in the wider NFT and Web3 community,
  • and to grow its team.

As for the NFT ecosystem, OpenSea said:

We are committed to expanding the entire NFT ecosystem. This quarter, we are launching a grant program to give us the opportunity to directly support the developers, builders, and creators shaping the future of the NFT space. Our ambition is to foster the scale and growth of the broader NFT ecosystem including raising the profile of emerging creators and investing in the people who shape the NFT space for the better today.

We wanted to look outside of OpenSea’s news for other relevant data to indicate just what is happening for Web3 as 2022 kicks into high gear.

One industry outsider has made some fresh noise about the NFT market which should not go without notice. Investor and Shark Tank member (and the face of the StartEngine investment platform) Kevin O’Leary recently endorsed NFTs in a way that will resonate with the crypto and NFT community — by saying he preferred NFTs linked to real world assets AND that NFTs will become larger than Bitcoin. He said:

I think non-fungible tokens are going to be bigger than bitcoin. They offer so much value around authentication, inventory management, and all kinds of use cases in different asset classes.

It is not unusual for young companies to experience multiple funding rounds within a short period of time when they are experiencing hyper-growth. After all, when you are growing that fast sometimes it’s more important to get the cash to get you through whatever lies ahead in the next few months or a year rather than worrying about small things like bills and expenses.

What is unusual at this pace is the $13.3 billion valuation — and $300 million at that valuation implies that the new round of investors only took an additional 2.25% stake in the company.