Evaluate.market, the scrappy non-fungible token (NFT) calculator popular among NBA Top Shot users, has raised $1.6 million in a move that presages the one-month-old company’s foray beyond Dapper Labs’ well-funded basketball hit.
The startup, which incorporated in February after its team realized the data-mining website had outgrown hobby level, found pre-seed backers in Castle Island Ventures, Notation Capital and the sports tech VC Drive by DraftKings, Christian Dittmeier, one of the three co-founders, told CoinDesk.
The round underscores how Dapper Labs’ hyper-popular digital trading cards are fostering a side economy dedicated to providing market data to the ballooning user base. Some users now have tens of millions of dollars wrapped up in NBA Top Shot moments and the NFT sector’s market cap recently eclipsed $1 billion.
But the official marketplace’s price analysis tools failed to meet the expectations of Dittmeier and co-founders Alex Ramirez and Cody Bouche when they started buying packs in mid-January, Dittmeier said. For starters, there was nothing on the site to show their investment appreciation over time.
The founders’ moments “were worth, like, eight times what we paid but there was nothing on [NBA Top Shot] that indicated that,” Dittmeier said, “so we started to kind of get the data for ourselves so that maybe, you know, we could make better investment decisions.”
Dittmeier, a data engineer, began plugging price data into a mock-up while Bouche pieced together an API and Ramirez built out the front end for what would become Evaluate.market. Seven weeks later their hobby, now a company, touts 17,000 registered users and prominent links on Top Shot’s moments pages, he said.
Evaluate.market is now raising cash to expand its team as its founders more closely integrate with Dapper’s Flow blockchain. Next week they will replace their pricing tool’s periodical moment price updates with real-time data bridges.
In the long term, the team, which is newly bullish on NFTs, wants to chart a future that can survive the tireless NFT churn, whether that be through more Flow pricing tools or an expansion to the more popular Ethereum blockchain.
“It’s the hardest question right because sometimes the hype cycles for NFTs are super short so we don’t want to do a bunch of dev time to like, you know, kind of be behind the cycle in terms of popularity,” Dittmeier said. “We want to be multi-NFT by the end of the year.”