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Dapper Labs raises $12 million from NBA stars, Samsung, Coinbase

basketball hoop

Yesterday Dapper Labs announced it closed $12 million in funding for its Flow blockchain from several prominent investors, including NBA players Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Iguodala, and others. The round included other new investors such as Coinbase Ventures, who will be joining existing investors SamsungWarner Music GroupAndreessen Horowitz, and many others. Dapper Lab’s total financing to date is $51 million, according to CrunchBase.

This funding announcement comes only 11 months after Dapper Labs raised $11 million for Flow. The startup hopes to use the Flow blockchain to build further blockchain-based games, verify authentic digital collectibles, and run fan tokens for sports personalities and music artists. In 2017, Dapper Labs was responsible for the popular 2017 CryptoKitties app, a blockchain game built on the Ethereum network.

The startup has previously partnered with French company Ubisoft, one of the world’s leading video game firms, who advises on the Flow blockchain and its future development for enterprise use. Investor Warner Music Group, the record label that represents huge names in the music industry, could be a vital player in releasing blockchain fans tokens to the mainstream.

Today Dapper Labs announced the preliminary results from the beta test of its NBA Top Shot app, an engagement-focused collectibles game launched earlier this year. The first 500 players reported spending thousands of hours on the app, and now, over 13,000 NBA fans are on the waiting list for the next beta release.

Basketball is not the only sport Dapper Labs is collaborating with. In late February this year, Dapper Labs announced its licensing partnership with UFC, a leading American mixed martial arts promotion firm for a very similar app to Top Shot. UFC fans will be able to own, purchase and trade collectibles on the app, also based on Flow. Earlier last month, Dapper Labs partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to create a similar experience, where fans can assemble and collect digital collectibles.  

Focusing on Top Shot, fans can open packs of the top shots, or the best plays, discover new plays, trade their collectibles with other fans in order to complete collections, and win challenges. 

Dapper Labs CEO and founder Roham Gharegozlou said that due to Flow’s easy to use blockchain, it ‘lowers barriers to entry and lets anyone join this new digital economy,’ adding that the most recent round of funding ‘will ensure Flow can scale.’ The popularity of CryptoKitties is a testament to this claim: just 7 days after launching CryptoKitties, over $5 million in transactions was processed, with the game accounting for around 25% of Ethereum traffic.

  • New investors include: A. Capital, Blockchange Ventures, BlockTower Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Distributed Global, EONXI Ventures, Greenfield One, L1 Digital AG, North Island Ventures, Pirata Capital, Reed Company, Republic Labs, Valor Capital Group; Aaron Gordon, Andre Iguodala, Garrett Temple, JaVale McGee, Spencer Dinwiddie
  • Existing investors include: Andreessen Horowitz, Animoca Brands, AppWorks, Cultural Leadership Fund, Union Square Ventures, Venrock, Samsung NEXT, Warner Music Group