The NFT Zora platform raised $50 million in the first bet for Haun Ventures which already raised $1.5 billion for the investments and led the funding round so let’s read more today in our latest cryptocurrency news.
The investment values Zora at $600 million and Zora said its open-source market protocol stands out in the NFT space. The high-flying crypto investor Katie Haun roiled the crypto space by announcing she left Andreessen Horowitz to launch her $1.5 billion venture fund. Haun Ventures also made its first big move and led to a $50 million round in the NFT Zora platform one of the few platforms that look to challenge industry giant OpenSea. Kindred Ventures and Coinbase Ventures also joined the round that values Zora at $600 million.
Founded by three Coinbase veterans in 2020, Zora launched as a service that offers artists the means to sell digital tokens tied to physical artifacts like cassettes and the startup pivoted to focus on building the open-source protocol which allows anyone that stands up in the NFT marketplace. Zora likens itself to a WordPress company that offers easy-to-use tools for building online stores and websites but for NFTs and the Web3 economy.
Those that use the Zora protocol included the NFT music service Catalogue while the tools powered a number of high profile NFT drops and $4 million sales of DOGE NFTs as well as one for the Warhol Foundation and Zora allows NFT buyers to purcahse carbon offsets to minimize the environmental impact. The co-founder Jacob Horne said the company’s purpose always remained the same but it aspires to provide artistic types with the new ways to offer the creations online without having to use the centralized Web2 gatekeepers such as Amazon and Spotify which impose strict controls while taking a cut of the revenue:
“The goal is the same—to help creators get as much value from their work. [Zora] lets people create their own independent marketplace. It helps you go from ‘zero to the marketplace.”
Home predicted that as the NFT market evolves the demand will grow for the niche verticals where the communities and creators can engage. The thesis has been popular in the Web3 space but is challenged by the dominance of OpenSea which remains by far the biggest NFT platform. Zora is different because unlike OpenSea the company does not use a centralized database to manage the NFTs. Home said Zora sold development tools to help companies customize the free protocol for their purposes which is used by Linux provider Red Hat.
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