The company behind NBA Top Shot has announced a massive new funding round and a deal with one of the most popular sports leagues on earth.
Dapper Labs made two massive announcements Wednesday as it tries to grow and scale its popular NFT business, bringing sports, entertainment, and music experiences to consumers through its Flow blockchain.
It announced a new $250 million funding round led by Coatue, existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, GV (Google Ventures), and Version One Ventures, along with new investors BOND and GIC. The new round values Dapper Labs at $7.6 billion, a source close to the company told Boardroom.
That’s up $5 billion from the company’s most recent funding round at the end of March.
Dapper also announced an extension of its wildly successful NBA Top Shot digital collectibles platform by partnering with LaLiga on a new non-fungible token experience. LaLiga is Spain’s top soccer league and one of the most popular leagues on the planet in any sport. Just like NBA Top Shot brought fans digital highlight Moments from the NBA and WNBA, Dapper will do the same for popular teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Sevilla, Villarreal, Valencia, and more beginning in June 2022.
Moments from the last 10 LaLiga seasons will be included.
“Dapper Labs is growing quickly but we’re just scratching the surface of what this new technology can do for people,” Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou said. “We’re excited to partner with our incredible investors to scale NBA Top Shot and launch our upcoming titles as well as unlock the potential of the open ecosystem building on Flow.”
Dapper said it would use the new infusion of capital to continue to scale while supporting new major products being developed on the Flow blockchain like the upcoming LaLiga NFTs.
“The partnership between LaLiga and Dapper Labs will bring us the closest we’ve ever been to our fans worldwide through a new and growing medium, and alongside the industry partner that created and jump-started the entire NFT movement,” LaLiga President Javier Tebas said. “This experience will have soccer fans all over the world at the center, giving them a platform and product to enjoy and express their passion for LaLiga in a unique way.”
Dapper and LaLiga will partner on a variety of fan activations developed around key tentpole events during the season, including a trip to El Classico at Camp Nou, to watch Barcelona and Real Madrid from a VIP box.
“As Barcelona’s captain for a decade, I enjoyed some of LaLiga’s greatest moments. I also experienced some of the game’s biggest lows; but in spite of it all, the game would be impossible to play without our fans,” said Carles Puyol, a six-time LaLiga champion, three-time UEFA Champions League champion, and captain of FC Barcelona from 2004-14. “Fans give us energy that encourages us not to give up. They help us dig in when we’ve got nothing left and they give us support when we need it. To be able to be a part of an experience that brings players one step closer to their biggest advocates is exciting and meaningful. I look forward to what this relationship holds.”
NBA Top Shot, still officially in Beta, saw more than $780 million of Moments bought and sold in 2021, a 30x increase year-over-year. More than 48% of its 1.1 million registered users own at least one Moment, the company said.
“With NBA Top Shot and a compelling pipeline of products to come, Dapper Labs is leading the way with the innovative Flow platform,” BOND general partner Mary Meeker said. “We are excited to be a part of this journey – and its next iterations – with Roham and team.”
These announcements come on the heels of Dapper’s recently revealed partnership with Google, naming Google Cloud as Flow’s cloud provider. Dapper Labs has now raised over $500 million in capital with the help of sports stars like like Michael Jordan, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Durant, and DK Metcalf.
In addition to LaLiga, Dapper said that collaborations will soon drop with UFC, Genies, and Warner Music Group as the company continues its rapid ascent.