Get the popcorn.
This week, OpenSea announced it raised a $300 million fundraising round, valuing the NFT marketplace at $13.3 billion. Forbes notes that the funding introduces founders Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah into the three-comma club, i.e. their estimated net worth is valued at over a billion dollars (in this case $2.2B each).
OpenSea had quite the year as NFTs became a household term. The startup’s blog noted it increased its transaction volume over 600x last year.
Not everyone is rushing to put OpenSea in their startup fantasy league. Some might be waiting to see how Coinbase’s own NFT marketplace shakes out after it announced it would be launching one soon. Coinbase co-founder Brian Armstrong even said the market for non-fungible tokens could surpass its crypto trading business.
Others are debating what all this funding means for web3. It’s of note that OpenSea’s previous round of $100M was led by Andreessen Horowitz, the VC firm that Jack Dorsey has been trolling. Jack takes issue with how venture capitalists have been funneling money into web3 (VCs deployed $30B+ globally in 2021 into crypto startups, minting more than 40 unicorns last year). The entire point of web3 is a distributed internet — user-controlled, enabled by blockchain tech — so some took offense to Jack’s remarks as a stinging ngmi (“not going to make it”) attack.
Balaji Srinivasan, ex-Coinbase CTO and General Partner at a16z, pointed the finger back at Jack's own company for being guilty of enabling centralized leadership. Jack maintained that criticism only helps those in this space grow.
Regardless of what camp you’re in, if you haven’t explored NFTs yet, this is shaping up to be the year to do so, even more than 2021. We just met two newcomers in this space.
You can think of NFT-Inator as a way to create your own version of Bored Apes, with a simple toolkit for generating designs with randomized combinations and layers that are export-ready.
So put down the popcorn now and go make your NFT.
Design Gradients just launched its website where designers, developers, and content creators can grab gradients to use as backgrounds in any piece of digital art (yes – we’re talking Instagram stories too).
“Since my beginnings as a designer, different platforms helped me to create my first designs. It was 2 years ago that I was convinced to create something to help new designers,” maker Guzmán Barquín shares.
Penpot brings design freedom to product teams
Collaboration between designers and developers can get messy. Penpot is a multiplayer, open-source design platform that makes it easy for everyone on your team to be part of the design process.
Open source + SVG and web standards = zero vendor lock-in. Penpot also offers cloud and self-host service, giving your team absolute freedom.
Bye-bye, design silos. 👋
- “New year, new me!” – if that’s you, Notion Resolution Board helps you keep track and measure your 2022 goals.
- Get your little ones to enter the productivity zone, too. The URSOR team launched customizable and printable chore charts for kids aged 3-12.
- Treeps reinvented its app and is launching today with a mission “to help people take small actions every day to make life happier gradually.”