SuperRare, one of the leading marketplaces for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has cashed in on NFT mania with a $9 million funding round led by tech venture capitalists Velvet Sea and 1confirmation.
Mark Cuban, Chamath Palihapitiya, Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce.com) and other well-heeled tech backers also participated in SuperRare’s Series A, the three-year-old startup told CoinDesk.
The round comes as crypto worth millions pours into blockchain-linked digital collectibles. While huge sales by relatively established artists such as Beeple catch headlines in mainstream media, an army of lesser-known NFT creators are also selling for six-figures on marketplaces such as SuperRare.
Artists are now generating over $25 million in total sales per month on SuperRare, the startup said. When it launched three years ago, a given month might have seen just $8,000 total.
But the crowd driving SuperRare’s boon remains surprisingly small.
Just 727 wallet addresses combined for $5.47 million in SuperRare trading volume in the past week, according to on-chain data site DappRadar. It was the fifth-largest NFT marketplace by volume during that period.
SuperRare occupies a relatively small but gilded corner of the surging $400 million NFT market. Unlike competitors OpenSea and Nifty Gateway, which are larger and more akin to collectible clearinghouses than swanky digital art showrooms, SuperRare only lists one-for-one editions, making its fare feel almost like a gallery.
Founders John Crain and Jonathan Perkins will invest the capital to fund the platform's growth, they said. Future features include social rollouts, upgrades to the marketplace backend, a foray into virtual reality and taking steps to ensure featured works remain accessible in the long-term.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.