Katie Haun’s New Crypto Fund Leads $50M Raise for NFT Protocol Zora

The funding round values the NFT tooling startup at $600 million.

AccessTimeIconMay 5, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 6, 2022 at 2:13 p.m. UTC

Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

Non-fungible token (NFT) startup Zora has raised $50 million to boost its NFT tooling protocol, the company announced Thursday.

The round was led by Haun Ventures with participation from Coinbase Ventures and Kindred Ventures, and it values Zora at $600 million, according to a press release. It’s the first use of capital from the recently spawned Web 3 venture firm led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) alum Katie Haun.

Zora’s NFT protocol is publicly available and focuses on providing accessible tools to create NFT collections and independent marketplaces for prospective artists and businesses.

The protocol was used behind the scenes for a handful of popular NFT moments in the past year, including the $4 million sale of a DOGE NFT last September and the “Mad Realities” NFT dating show that made its debut in April.

“OpenSea is to Amazon as Zora is to Shopify,” the company said in a press release, referencing the industry-leading marketplace that nabbed a $13.3 billion valuation in January.

Zora also has its own decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in the works, called Zora DAO.

Haun raised $1.5 billion from investors in March to deploy with two separate crypto funds, one for early stage crypto startups and the other as an accelerator.

“NFTs are a core building block that are central to the future of the web,” Sam Rosenblum, a partner at Haun Ventures, said in the statement. “We also see Web 3 innovations like NFTs as a positive force for openness and decentralization in a web currently weighted too heavily toward centralized, opaque gatekeepers.”

Zora raised $8 million in an equities sale in March 2021, which followed a $2 million raise the previous October.

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.