Blockchain-Based Gaming Company Dapper Labs Closes $305 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● April 18, 2021
  • Dapper Labs announced that it has raised $305 million in a new round of funding led by Coatue. These are the details.

Dapper Labs — the company behind NBA Top Shot and the new Flow blockchain — announced that it has raised $305 million in a new round of funding led by Coatue. The company had received support from NBA legend Michael Jordan as well as current players and funds including Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Drummond, Alex Caruso, Michael Carter-Williams, Josh Hart, Udonis Haslem, JaVale McGee, Khris Middleton, Domantas Sabonis, Klay Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Thad Young, and Richard Seymour’s 93 Ventures as well as entertainment and music heavyweights including Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Will Smith and Keisuke Honda’s Dreamers VC, Shawn Mendes and Andrew Gertler’s AG Ventures, Shay Mitchell, and 2 Chainz. Other strategic investors that participated include a16z, The Chernin Group, USV, Version One, and Venrock.

Additional investors in the round also included MLB players like Tim Beckham and Nolan Arenado; NFL players: Ken Crawley, Thomas Davis, Stefon Diggs, Dee Ford, Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jordan Matthew, Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, DK Metcalf, Tyrod Taylor, and Trent Williams; team ownership including Vivek Ranadive (Kings), and Bolt Ventures. This funding round brings the total capital raised by the company to $357 million.

The funding round will be used to scale the Dapper Labs team to continue building out the NBA Top Shot vision, expanding the platform to other sports, and helping a new generation of creators develop engaging experiences using blockchain technology including NFTs. And Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot is one of the world’s fastest-growing marketplaces with nearly $500 million in collectibles bought and sold, more than 800,000 registered accounts, more than 338,000 customers with at least one NFT, and over 3 million transactions — less than 5 months into its open beta.

NBA Top Shot is based on Flow – an open-source blockchain developed by Dapper Labs and launched in 2020. And Flow enables NFT marketplaces and other decentralized applications that need to scale to handle mainstream demand without extremely high transaction costs (gas fees) or environmental concerns.

Joining the NBA, other cultural leaders currently building experiences on Flow include Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, Warner Media, and the UFC as well as thousands of third-party developers, artists, and other creators. And products already live on Flow mainnet include Viv3, an art marketplace where visual artist Ben Mauro instantly sold out of $2 million in collectible cards; Blocto, a leading non-custodial wallet solution; and MotoGP, which held its first sold-out drop last week.

KEY QUOTES:

“NBA Top Shot is successful because it taps into basketball fandom – it’s a new and more exciting way for people to connect with their favorite teams and players. 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. NFTs unlock a new model for media that benefits the fans much more than advertising or sponsorships.”

— Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs

“NBA Top Shot is one of the best demonstrations we’ve seen of how quickly new technology can change the landscape for media and sports fans. We’re excited to follow the progress with everything happening on Flow blockchain and use our platform with the Boardroom to connect with fans in a new way.”

— Kevin Durant, Co-Founder of Thirty Five Ventures

“NFTs are the first time anyone can create unique digital items that can live forever and be portable across different products anywhere the customer wants –– simple but game-changing. NFTs let people have real ownership in games and digital worlds for the first time. On a blockchain like Flow, NFTs can rewire the internet for the better.”

— Dieter Shirely, CTO of Dapper Labs and the author of the first non-fungible token standard on which CryptoKitties was based