Non-fungible token (NFT) infrastructure startup NFTPort has raised $26 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Taavet+Sten and Atomico, a European venture capital (VC) firm with $4 billion in assets under management. The funding will help scale the core product, which helps developers quickly launch NFT applications.
“We’re one of the biggest NFT infrastructure providers. You can think of us as the Stripe or AWS [Amazon Web Services] for NFTs,” NFTPort CEO and co-founder Johannes Tammekänd told CoinDesk in an interview.
“One of the core problem[s] companies and developers face in building NFT products is a lack of proper infrastructure,” continued Tammekänd, who has a background in cybersecurity and turned to blockchain technology in 2014 while researching Tor and Bitcoin in NATO. “Our infrastructure brings their goods to market down from months to days or even hours and saves them hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The funding will help Estonia-based NFTPort expand to new blockchains, add new functionality and scale up the team, Tammekänd told CoinDesk in an interview. The startup also plans to bring a decentralized NFT infrastructure protocol to market.
Taavet+Sten is the investment vehicle of Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of digital payment firm Wise, and Sten Tamkivi, co-founder of city comparison tool Teleport. Tamkivi will join the NFTPort team as a co-founder. Rain Johanson, former CTO of Bolt, will join on as co-founder and CTO.
Other investors in the round included Filecoin creator Protocol Labs, Polygon co-founder Jaynti Kanani and Polkadot co-founder Jutta Steiner, among others.
NFTPort infrastructure includes application programming interfaces (APIs) for data, minting and counterfeit detection. Data APIs provide access to NFT data from the Ethereum, Polygon and Solana blockchains. Minting APIs let developers deploy, manage and customize NFT smart contracts without writing any smart contract code. The counterfeit detection interface cross-checks that an NFT wasn’t previously minted on any of the supported blockchains.
Developers already using NFTPort include Nifty Gateway, part of crypto exchange Gemini, and Protocol Labs.
“We have high conviction in a shift towards increased digital ownership powered by NFT technology, and the potential for NFTs to become a new asset class,” said Atomico partner Irina Haivas in the press release. “However, a lot of the infrastructure required to underpin the widespread adoption of NFTs and other Web 3 technologies still needs to be built, and this is where NFTPort comes in.”
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.