The company behind NBA Topshot, Dapper Labs, has closed a $250m (£183m) funding round and announced a new deal with the Spanish football league.
In addition to creating some of the NFT world’s most popular games Dapper Labs has built its own blockchain, known as Flow, to process high transaction volumes at speed.
Today’s funding round was led by Coatue, taking Dapper Labs’ valuation to $7.6bn according to a source familiar with the matter. The partnership with La Liga has created a platform where fans can collect and trade NFT versions of iconic football moments from Spanish clubs including Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
“Dapper Labs is growing quickly but we’re just scratching the surface of what this new technology can do for people,” said Roham Gharegozlou, the CEO of Dapper Labs. “We’re excited to partner with our incredible investors to scale NBA Top Shot and launch our upcoming titles as well as unlock the potential of the open ecosystem building on Flow.”
The funding round and new deal follow a year of exponential growth for Dapper Labs. The company’s flagship NBA Top Shot game grew by 30 times in 2021, with more than $780m in collectible basketball NFTs bought and sold and more than 1.1m registered accounts, 48 per cent of which own at least one moment.
“We think Dapper Labs is a leader in the space at the infrastructure level with Flow blockchain and in the application layer with NBA TopShot. We continue to be impressed by Roham’s strong leadership and vision and we could not be more proud to partner with him and the entire team at Dapper,” said Coatue Chairman, Dan Rose.
It comes as NFTs make multiple inroads into sports. Yesterday Sorare, a platform which lets users build a fantasy football team by collecting NFT football cards, raised $680m in a Series B funding round.