Haun Ventures Leads NFT Marketplace Protocol Zora’s $50M Funding Round

NFT marketplace protocol Zora has raised $50 million, bringing it to a valuation of $600 million.
Image source: Zora

Quick take:

  • The round was led by Haun Ventures.
  • Zora is an open protocol that allows users to launch NFT collections, marketplaces, and experiences.
  • Funds will be used to develop Zora Labs and Zora Protocol.

NFT marketplace protocol Zora has raised $50 million in its latest funding round, led by Haun Ventures. The venture capital firm was founded by Katie Haun, the first female general partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

This is the first funding round led by Haun Ventures, which launched in March. The round included participation from Coinbase Ventures, Kindred Ventures and others. 

Founded in 2020, Zora is an open protocol that allows users to launch NFT collections, marketplaces, and experiences. With Zora’s protocol, developers can build a custom NFT auction house and list and sell NFTs using the ZORA Auction House smart contract.

The new funding will allow Zora to build more open tooling and accelerate its public infrastructure. This means that more permissionless code will be deployed on more chains, better APIs, and an increase in grants and hackathons.

The funds will also be used to help Zora move onto the next step of its journey as it develops Zora Labs, the company focused on building open developer and community tools, and the Zora Protocol, the DAO-governed hyperstructure. Zora will also continue to launch ZoraDAO to expand the ownership of the platform to its community.

“We have only seen the tip of the iceberg of NFTs in web3 and believe Zora will become one of the most important protocols (and DAOs) as the NFT ecosystem and associated use cases meaningfully expand in the years to come,” wrote Sam Rosenblum of Haun Ventures.

Even though a report published by Wall Street Journal on Wednesday claimed that “NFT sales are flatlining,” market movements prove otherwise. The fact that venture capital firms have recently poured a large amount of money into NFT marketplaces like Zora and Rario indicates that they still see potential in the NFT space. 

On the consumers’ side, the NFT craze is still going strong. For instance, Yuga Labs generated over $317 million from its Otherside metaverse NFTs which sold out within three hours. Since then, the collection has exceeded over $750 million in secondary market volume as of this writing.

While some may argue that most of the trading volume is concentrated on established blue-chip NFTs, Moonbirds rallied to $285 million in trading volume within three days after its debut in mid-April.

As for the second most popular blockchain for NFTs, the number of NFT traders on Solana has been steadily increasing from month to month, hitting a cumulative high of 637,612 on May 1, according to data by “chuxin” on Dune Analytics.

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