By Ekin Genç
NFT marketplace Rarible has closed a Series A investment of $14.2 million led by venture capital firms Venrock and CoinFund.
Founded in early 2020, Rarible has become a popular marketplace to host, buy and sell NFTs. Since its launch, the platform has seen over $150 million in sales of digital collectibles.
NFTs or non-fungible tokens are blockchain-based crypto tokens that show proof of ownership of a digital or physical asset. The NFT market boomed in early 2021, fuelled by the broader crypto market’s bull run. In the first quarter of 2021, NFT sales generated more than $1.5 billion, according to data from market analytics firm DappRadar.
Over the past year, the NFT craze has allowed Rarible’s trading volume to grow 3,000-fold, according to data from the company.
Rarible will use the funding to hire new team members and expand its operations into Flow, a blockchain specifically built for NFTs and currently powers CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot.
Alexander Salnikov, chief product officer and co-founder of Rarible, said the company is eyeing Flow because its “gasless minting” helps lower the barrier for entry for more people and brands.
Currently, Rarible is currently built on Ethereum, a blockchain that relies on proof-of-work and charges gas fees for transactions on the networks. These fees increase as demand on the Ethereum network grows.
The goal of Rarible, said Salnikov, is to evolve into a fully decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), a rising trend among crypto companies that want to decentralize control over a project’s operations. The Rarible DAO would allow creators and collectors to make proposals for Rarible’s future and vote on platform upgrades.
In July 2020, Rarible launched RARI, a governance token that was initially used to reward creators and collectors and could only be earned through active participation on the platform, a process Rarible termed “marketplace liquidity mining.”
RARI is now available across most DeFi platforms such Uniswap and a few centralized crypto exchanges including Kraken.
The token is currently trading for $7.63, up 61% over the past 24 hours following Bitcoin’s rise, and presumably, Rarible’s good news today.