OpenSea Launches Brand New Investment Arm and Ecosystem Grants Program

OpenSea is supporting startups with its new investment arm and Ecosystem Grants program.
Image source: OpenSea

Quick take:

  • OpenSea Ventures will be led by co-founder Alex Atallah.
  • It has also introduced its ecosystem grants program alongside the investment arm.
  • The company wants to help promising developers and creators grow Web 3 through NFTs.

Leading NFT marketplace OpenSea is launching its investment arm after raising $300 million, bringing to decacorn status with a $13.3 billion valuation in January. In the same month, the marketplace broke its monthly record with more than $5 billion worth of trading volume on the platform.

Announced today, OpenSea Ventures is led by co-founder Alex Atallah. The investment arm aims to help promising developers and creators grow Web 3 through NFTs.

“Our long-term vision is to empower creators and communities of all kinds to achieve economic independence in a new digital economy,” OpenSea co-founder Alex Atallah wrote in a blog post.

OpenSea Ventures will focus investments across four main themes: The continued shift to a multichain world for both NFTs and non-NFTs; creating and supporting NFT-related protocols; social and gaming projects serving as distribution mechanisms for crypto and NFT elements; and the emergence of NFT aggregators and analytics supporting activity on OpenSea and other NFT marketplace platforms.

Additionally, it also provides potential portfolio companies access to the company’s strategic partners, a16z, Standard Crypto, Animoca Brands and Kevin Hartz’s A* Capital, among others. 

Other benefits include direct access to OpenSea leadership, assistance with NFT security and improving NFT standards, exposure through guest blog posts on OpenSea’s blog, and connections with leading NFT creators.

Also introduced alongside OpenSea Ventures, the company’s Ecosystem Grants program is “aimed at elevating creators, developers, and passionate community members working to enrich and expand the NFT ecosystem.”

The company will be allocating grants towards improving user experience of transacting NFTs on OpenSea, tooling that unlocks creativity for creators, educational resources to make NFTs and Web 3 more approachable, and creating an inclusive space where all individuals have access to opportunities in the NFT space.

Grants will be distributed through a rolling selection process, taking into consideration project scope and relevance, potential impact, team composition, long-term sustainability, and projects that can initially be executed within at least six months of receiving the grant.

To make the review process as transparent as possible, the Ecosystem Grants program will establish a review committee and refine its funding criteria before selecting its grantees.

With the new venture arm, OpenSea follows in the footsteps of Coinbase, whose investment arm, Coinbase Ventures, participated in the NFT marketplace’s $2 million seed round in 2018. Coinbase will be launching an NFT marketplace later this year.

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