Dapper Labs, the company behind popular fantasy basketball NFT game NBA Top Shot, has raised another $250 million in funding. Coatue is leading the new investment. According to a source close to the company, today’s funding round values the company at $7.6 billion.
Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, GV and Version One Ventures are investing once again. Some new investors are also joining the round, such as BOND and GIC.
Dapper Labs is better known as the maker of NBA Top Shots. Users can buy digital cards that represent NBA players and moments. They can then buy and sell some of their cards to other players. The value of these digital collectibles can go up and down over time.
The platform is based on NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. Each digital card is registered as a unique token on a blockchain. Dapper Labs has developed Flow, a new blockchain built for scalability and practical use cases, such as NBA Top Shot.
“We think Dapper Labs is a leader in the space at the infrastructure level with the Flow blockchain and at the application layer with NBA Top Shot. We continue to be impressed by Roham’s [Gharegozlou, CEO] strong leadership and vision and we could not be more proud to partner with him and the entire team at Dapper,” Coatue Ventures Chairman Dan Rose said in a statement.
And this is an interesting statement, as Sorare raised $680 million at a $4.3 billion valuation just a few days ago. Sorare currently focuses on fantasy football (soccer) and uses the Ethereum blockchain for its NFT platform. They use ZK rollups to lower transaction fees.
Dapper Labs and Sorare will soon compete for the same player base. Sorare has decided to expand to other professional sports while Dapper Labs just signed a partnership with LaLiga, the Spanish football association — LaLiga has also partnered with Sorare.
These two companies are taking a different approach and opting for a different tech stack. So it's going to be interesting to see whether there's enough room for two players. Dapper Labs expects to launch its LaLiga experience in June 2022.
NBA Top Shot currently has 1.1 million registered users. These users have traded more than $780 million. Dapper Labs is also betting heavily on its infrastructure play with its new blockchain Flow. It could power other experiences beyond fantasy sports.