UPDATED 09:00 EDT / MAY 24 2022

BLOCKCHAIN

NFT social marketplace startup Bubblehouse raises $9M for expansion

Nonfungible token social marketplace Bubblehouse said today it has raised about $9 million in new funding to expand its marketplace and portfolio of partners across brands, art, athletics, hospitality, music, fashion and influencer categories.

Cassius Family led the seed round. Also participating in the round were Third Kind VC, SV Angel, Kima Ventures, Watertower Ventures, Ocho Capital and a number of individual investors.

Founded in 2002 as a platform for creators to express content in new and attractive ways, Bubblehouse today pitches itself as the first social NFT marketplace. The company’s service is designed to allow creators and collectors without crypto expertise to discover, collect and sell NFTs, which enable users to create and verify the ownership of virtual items by recording their sales and trades on blockchains.

Bubblehouse allows creators to manage NFT projects without blockchain development expertise. At the same time, collectors can purchase NFTs via standard payment methods — that is to say, through a credit or debit card, PayPal and Apple Pay. Users who sign up for Bubblehouse receive a crypto wallet and the platform handles NFTs purchased through the wallet.

The company’s platform has sold more than 500,000 NFTs in only two months, with the NFTs themselves available on the Ethereum or Polygon blockchains.

One way Bubblehouse differs from other NFT platforms is by providing its own social media portion unlocked by collecting NFTs. As noted when the company raised $4 million in pre-seed funding in September, NFT owners gain premium access to the creator’s direct messages to get to know the creator. It also provides access to the creator’s “Collector’s Club,” an exclusive group chat between the creator and all their collectors.

Bubblehouse also works with brands, having partnered with Groot Hospitality for the group’s first NFT-exclusive dessert for Komodo Miami, which sold out within minutes, with the YouTube stars Nelk Boys promoting it. The company also successfully partnered with fashion brands Altuzarra LLC, Markarian and Vaquera to launch their first NFTs during February New York and Paris Fashion Weeks.

“We want to take the NFT experience and make it accessible and valuable for all,” Rohan Sinha, co-founder of Bubblehouse, said in a statement. “Providing a platform where creators and collectors can easily enter Web3 is key to this broader adoption. We want this new world to be fun, artistic, lucrative, social and more.”

Although some are predicting the demise of NFTs, not helped by the recent instability around stablecoins caused by the crash of UST earlier this month, there is still plenty of life in the market. Yesterday, BUD Technologies Inc., a developer of a virtual platform that is adding NFTs to its service, raised $37 million in new funding. Meta Inc.-owned Instagram also announced on May 9 that it was set to begin testing NFTs.

Image: Bubblehouse

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