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NFT leader Dapper Labs taps US$305m from Michael Jordan, other NBA legends

Vancouver company best known as creator of NBA Top Shot marketplace
Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou | BIV file photo

The Vancouver blockchain company behind the NBA Top Shot marketplace is hitting nothing but net following its latest capital raise.

Dapper Labs Inc. has landed US$305 million in a funding round that includes investments from Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant and Kyle Lowry, among other NBA legends.

The West Coast company is best known for its online marketplace that trades in digital collectibles, such as video highlights, that come with non-fungible tokens (NFT).

Backed by blockchain technology, NFTs function as a certification of ownership for digital assets.

So far NBA Top Shot has facilitated the sale of US$500 million in collectibles among 338,000 customers since its launch late last year.

The monster capital raise from Dapper Labs will go towards expanding its marketplace into other sports as well as growing the company’s headcount.

"We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues as well as help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches in exploring open platforms. NFTs unlock a new model for media that benefits the fans much more than advertising or sponsorships,” CEO Roham Gharegozlou said in a statement.

Other investors include rapper 2 Chainz and actor Ashton Kutcher, as well as MLB players Tim Beckham and Nolan Arenado.

Following the latest injection of capital, Dapper Labs has now raised US$357 million.

Beyond the NBA, the company has also announced partnerships with Warner Music Group, Ubisoft and UFC.

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