NBA Top Shot Parent Dapper Labs Raises $305M, Valued At $2.6B


Dapper Labs, the company behind digital collectibles sensation NBA Top Shot and Ethereum collectibles game CryptoKitties, has raised a big new round of funding from what’s apparently a large party of sports stars, Hollywood heavyweights, and investment firms.

Dapper has raised a $305 million round led by Coatue, a tech-focused investment powerhouse. Coatue was joined by others including NBA legend Michael Jordan and current stars like Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala; musician Shawn Mendes; Hollywood stars Will Smith and Ashton Kutcher; and investment firms a16z, The Chernin Group, USV, and Venrock.

  • Indeed many people and firms chipped into Dapper’s funding round and we listed just some of them. Per reports, the round values Dapper at $2.6 billion, not bad for a company at the forefront of the recent NFT craze.
  • Dapper’s NBA Top Shot offers video highlights of NBA scenes that users can trade in the form of verifiable digital collectibles known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Though that idea feels silly at face value, nearly $500 million worth of video collectibles has traded on the site in just less than five months into its open beta, according to Dapper Labs.
  • NBA Top Shot has more than 800,000 registered accounts and over 800,000 customers with at least one NFT, Dapper says. Of course, it’s not surprising that some NBA stars whose videos are traded on the site decided to invest in the site’s owner.
  • Dapper also owns CryptoKitties, a blockchain game where players can grow and trade digital pets also as NFTs. It saw early success with the game before launching NBA Top Shot which then brought it even more success.
  • Notably, Dapper is a Canadian company, and it’s one of the few major blockchain companies to come from the country. Definetly, the company’s new funding round and corresponding valuation have bolstered the status of Canada in the high-growth tech startup scene.

Other news bits:

  • Smartphone maker Xiaomi is venturing into the world of electric vehicles. It’s revealed a plan to spend $10 billion on the development of electric cars over the next decade.
  • Cohesity, a SoftBank-backed data management startup, is now valued at $3.7 billion after a $145 million secondary round that saw employees and stockholders exchange some of their equity for cash. The valuation is $1.2 billion higher than Cohesity’s valuation from a funding round less than 12 months ago.
  • Lilium, a flying car startup, has agreed to a deal to become publicly-traded through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company. It’ll merge with Qell Acquisition Corp (Nasdaq: QELL) in a deal valuing it at $3.3 billion. 

Lilium SPAC merger was quite expected as its two main rivals, Archer and Joby Aviation, have sealed their own respective SPAC merger deals, so it makes sense that Lilium was going to be approached for merger talks by a SPAC out there.

  • Private equity giant Appollo Global has filed for an IPO for its eighth SPAC so far. The SPAC, Apollo Strategic Growth Capital III, has filed to raise $400 million from investors.

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