UPDATED 19:48 EDT / JANUARY 04 2022

BLOCKCHAIN

OpenSea raises $300M on $13.3B valuation and reportedly looks to acquire Dharma Labs

Updated:

Nonfungible token marketplace OpenSea today said it has raised $300 million in new funding and, according to a separate report, it’s also in talks to acquire digital wallet provider Dharma Labs Inc.

Paradigm and Coatue led the Series C round, according to the New York Times on a valuation of $13.3 billion. A previous report prior to the round being disclosed suggested that OpenSea was seeking a valuation of $13 billion.

The company last raised funding in July — $100 million on a $1.5 billion valuation in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz. That six months later OpenSea has raised funding on a $13.3 billion valuation is remarkable but is also reflective of the mania surrounding NFTs, one The Financial Times described as a land grab for the online “metaverse.”

NFTs are a type of digital asset that use blockchain technology to represent the ownership of a digital item such as artwork, video or in-game item. NFT owners can prove that they “own” the digital item because they have the cryptographic token associated with the artwork. The keys to exchange that token are stored in a wallet.

Founded in 2017, OpenSea is a peer-to-peer marketplace for crypto collectibles and NFTs. As the market leader in NFT sales, OpenSea has seen its fortune rise along with the growing popularity of digital assets. As of November, the NFT market was estimated to be about $7 billion, according to JPMorgan Chase, with a monthly rate of about $2 billion in sales. The growth rate in NFT transactions was sitting at 328% for the first nine months of 2021 and has continued to surge into the new year.

With strong funding and growing revenue, OpenSea has the ability to expand its services, and that’s where the potential acquisition of Dharma Labs comes in.

Axios reported that talks between the two companies on an acquisition deal are ongoing, with a potential all-stock deal valued at between $110 million and $130 million on the table.

Dharma pitches itself as the only Ethereum wallet that can seamlessly move dollars between a bank account and centralized exchanges. Claiming to be “like Coinbase, but cheaper,” Dharma offers access to 76,708 tokens.

The company has raised around $15 million in funding, according to Axios, although Crunchbase puts the figure at $7.1 million. Investors include 9Yards Capital, FinTech Collective, Green Visor Capital, POlychain, Coinbase Ventures, Y Combinator and others. The Y Combinator investment comes through the company participating in Y Combinator’s program in 2017, the year it was founded.

Neither OpenSea nor Dharma has commented on the report.

The news comes after an NFT creator on OpenSea claimed that his Bored Ape and Mutant Ape NFTs, valued at about $2.28 million, had been stolen. OpenSea moved to stop the stolen NFTs from being traded.

Image: OpenSea

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