Michael Jordan Joins $305M Investment in Firm Behind NBA Top Shot

Dapper Labs' buzzy NFT platform has generated over $500 million in sales since launch.

Mar 30, 2021 at 1:47 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:33 p.m. UTC

Dapper Labs announced a $305 million funding round Tuesday from another batch of National Basketball Association stars and a venture capital firm backing its runaway hit, NBA Top Shot.

Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan, the investment firm Coatue and a deep bench of 30 athletes plus the rapper 2 Chainz have piled into the non-fungible token (NFT) firm, the startup said. Citing a person with knowledge of the situation, USA Today reported the funding round places Dapper’s current valuation at $2.6 billion.

The mega-round comes as Dapper's NBA Top Shot platform continues to monetize fans' growing demand for digital collectibles. Sitting atop Dapper's Flow blockchain, the card-like crypto platform has raked in nearly $500 million in sales and seen its secondary trading market eclipse $2 million in volume almost daily.

While the hype remains centered on NBA Top Shot, Dapper Labs signaled in a press release it intends to bring yet more digital collectibles to Flow through "experiences" by Warner Media Group and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), among others. More experiences are coming this year, the startup said. The company has raised $357 million to date.

Here's the full list of investors, per the Dapper Labs press release:

The company received support from NBA legend Michael Jordan as well as current players and funds including Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Drummond, Alex Caruso, Michael Carter-Williams, Josh Hart, Udonis Haslem, JaVale McGee, Khris Middleton, Domantas Sabonis, Klay Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Thad Young, and Richard Seymour’s 93 Ventures, as well as entertainment and music heavyweights including Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures, Will Smith and Keisuke Honda's Dreamers VC, Shawn Mendes and Andrew Gertler's AG Ventures, Shay Mitchell, and 2 Chainz. Other strategics participating include a16z, The Chernin Group, USV, Version One, and Venrock.Additional investors in the round include: [Major League Baseball] players Tim Beckham and Nolan Arenado; [National Football League] players Ken Crawley, Thomas Davis, Stefon Diggs, Dee Ford, Malcom Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jordan Matthew, Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, DK Metcalf, Tyrod Taylor and Trent Williams; team ownership including Vivek Ranadive (Kings), and notable sports investors Bolt Ventures.
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