Dapper Labs Debuts $725M Ecosystem Fund for Flow Blockchain Development

A16z, Coatue and Union Square Ventures are all committing money.

May 10, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 10, 2022 at 1:16 p.m. UTC

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

Flow, the blockchain best known for non-fungible token (NFT) hit NBA Top Shot, is making a $725 million push to attract more projects, Dapper Labs, the network’s creator, announced Tuesday.

The fund is backed by investors with large holdings of the network’s native token, FLOW, as well as equity in Dapper Labs itself. They include Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Coatue, Union Square Ventures, Greenfield One, Liberty City Ventures and CoinFund, among others.

The fund is the largest ecosystem backing of its kind, and will go towards boosting “gaming, infrastructure, decentralized finance, content and creators” in the Flow ecosystem, according to a press release.

“It’s a diverse fund in a few ways, the first being in terms of kind of location, we’ve got Asia, Europe and North America covered,” Dapper Labs Chief Business Officer Mik Naayem told CoinDesk in an interview. “But also in terms of expertise and accelerators, from a16z down the list, it makes us well-rounded.”

Will Flow grow?

Flow’s blockchain is known for snappy transaction speeds and low costs, with most of its traffic being to Dapper’s own suite of NFT platforms – NBA Top Shot, NFL ALL DAY and UFC Strike.

The fund looks to reach beyond just Dapper’s own products, attracting developers to the blockchain at a time when Ethereum alternatives remain in competition for their piece of the NFT pie.

Naayem predicts the space is moving towards a “winner take most” scenario, with the best technology likely to attract the lion’s share of users.

The announcement comes in a macro NFT environment that’s quieted down in previous months, or at least compared to when Dapper Labs raised $250 million at a $7.6 billion valuation in September. Coatue led the raise, which also included a16z.

NBA Top Shot volumes have mostly decreased month-by-month since the highs of last spring, though usage on the platform continues to grow.

“Although we’ve seen the overall volumes go down, there’s been an uptake in usage,” Naayem said. “What we’re seeing with NFTs right now is probably an overcorrection from when enthusiasm outpaced where the industry used to be.”

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

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

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