- Nike has bought NFT collectibles studio RTFKT, pronounced “artifact”.
- The footwear and apparel manufacturer is betting big on the intriguing collectibles market.
- Terms of the purchase have not been disclosed, but the startup was valued at about $33.3 million in may when it raised $8 million in a funding round.
Nike is betting big on the emergence of non-fungible tokens. The global footwear and apparel manufacturer announced on Monday the acquisition of NFT collectibles studio RTFKT, pronounced “artifact”.
Although the details of the deal have not been disclosed, RTFKT was valued at about $33.3 million in May when it attracted an $8 million funding from Andreessen Horowitz.
Nike has timed the announcement of the acquisition perfectly with one of RTFKT’s leading projects attracting positive social media chatter after reaching key milestones.
RTFKT is the NFT collectibles studio behind CloneX. The platform partnered with artist Takashi Murakami to launch an avatar collection, that has become the most talked-about NFT drops of the month.
Dropping just under three weeks ago, the project has already overseen nearly $69 million in cumulative transaction volume, according to the crypto analytics and tracking platform CryptoSlam.
After transaction volume slowed during the second week, it spiked during the weekend to $10 million, before rising further on Monday to top $13 million as of this writing.
Speaking after the acquisition, RTFKT co-founder Benoit Pagotto said in a statement, “this is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love.”
Nike is not the only sporting goods company making inroads into the crypto space. Earlier this month, Adidas joined the metaverse after partnering with the Bored Apes Yacht Club in an NFT project. Other collaborators in the project include Yuga Labs, collector Gmoney, and NFT project Punks Comic.
The metaverse is becoming a centre of attention with gaming companies like Ubisoft also launching their own blockchain projects. And although some announcements by companies that rely on communities have faced backlash from their members, the theme remains the same across the board.
Nike’s acquisition of RTFKT could bring more to the business than just its own NFTs. The studio partnered with other cryptocurrency creators to design items that resemble physical shoes. The items utilize imagery from other NFT projects such as CryptoPunks and Bored Apes.
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