OpenSea Raises $300m in Series C Funding amidst Calls for Tougher Regulations
Non-Fungible Tokens, better known as NFTs, and OpenSea continue to grab the news headlines.
This week, OpenSea reportedly saw 2022 trading volume surge over $700m, driven by the “bored Ape mania NFT frenzy”. The report noted that OpenSea saw a record trading volume high of $225.8m on 3rd January alone.
At the time of writing, the top 3 NFTs, ranked by trading volumes over the last 7-days were:
- Mutant Ape Yacht Club: Volume of E25,429.76.
- Bored Ape Yacht Club: Volume of E22,926.64.
- Prime Ape Planet PAP: Volume of E14,506.6.
$300m Series C Funding and a Valuation of $13.3bn
On Tuesday, OpenSea announced that it had raised $300m in Series C funding at a $13.3bn post money valuation. According to the announcement, “Paradigm and Coatue led the round with participation from new and existing investors”.
OpenSea stated 4 goals for the funding:
- Accelerate product development.
- Improve customer support and safety.
- Invest in the wider NFT and Web3 community.
- Grow the OpenSea team.
Key to OpenSea’s goals is lowering the barriers to entry for NFTs. Additionally, OpenSea is looking at offering support and prioritizing improvements to allow users to “discover, manage, and showcase their NFTs with better tools, analytics, and presentation”.
Late last year, OpenSea had frozen 16 Bored Ape and Mutant Ape NFTs. Since the freeze, the NFTs were no longer tradeable on OpenSea. The NFTs, owned by Todd Kramer, had been stolen from his hot wallet.
Fund Raising Coincides with Heightened Regulatory Chatter
Such is the frenzy behind NFTs that UK government members of Parliament have called on the UK government to impose tougher regulations on cryptos and NFTs. According to the report, “the UK’s Treasury Department is currently preparing its response to a consultation that ended in 2020 regarding how best to regulate the cryptocurrency market”.
The latest chatter from the UK government follows on from a call by the Bank of England in December for a global regulatory framework to regulate the crypto market.