With NBA Top Shot taking off in 2021 and a slew of major partners on board, Dapper Labs is poised to ride its momentum into the new year.
A year ago, you could have been forgiven for only knowing Dapper Labs as the people who put out Crypto Kitties a few years back. Fast-forward 12 months, and the massive success of NBA Top Shot and its Flow blockchain has propelled Dapper to a several billion dollar valuation with NFL, UFC and La Liga NFTs to come in 2022.
Under the leadership of founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou, Top Shot became a viral sensation during the year’s early quarantine months, and Dapper has only built on that growth in the months that followed. Dapper is now among the foremost leaders of the NFT and crypto revolution that defined 2021.
Dapper Labs’ 2021 Achievements & Milestones
Feb. 16: ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote about “NBA Top Shot and the dizzying world of digital collectibles.”
“We’ve known we’re on to something special for a while now,” Gharegozlou said in the article. “We bet everything on the NBA. It’s something so new and perfect for the times.”
March 30: Announced a $305 million funding round led by Coatue, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures, a16z, The Chernin Group, and dozens of athletes and celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Will Smith, Shawn Mendes and 2 Chainz. By this point, Dapper was valued at $2.6 billion. The company boasted $500 million in collectibles bought and sold and more than 800,000 registered accounts in less than five months.
April 28: Announced that the Genies celebrity avatar platform would bring the Genies Marketplace to life onto its Flow blockchain.
Aug. 25: Forged a partnership with the WNBA and WNBPA to bring to the first-ever women’s basketball moments to Top Shot, headlined by 2020 MVP A’ja Wilson and legend Lisa Leslie.
Sept. 14: Announced a multi-year deal with Google Cloud as its strategic cloud provider, supercharging connectivity to consumers and app developers worldwide.
Sept. 22: Announced a $250 million funding round led by Coatue, Andreessen Horowitz, GV (Google Ventures), Version One Ventures, BOND and GIC at a $7.6 billion valuation. Also announced a partnership with La Liga on a Top Shot-esque NFT product debuting next June.
Sept. 29: Announced a partnership with the NFL and NFLPA on an exclusive moments-based NFT product, later called NFL All Day.
Oct. 13: Announced a partnership with Kevin Durant and Thirty Five Ventures in a multi-year deal that will feature co-branded activations across the Boardroom media network.
The future of Dapper Labs
To steal from every American president ever, the State of the Dapper Union is strong.
Millions of dollars worth of Top Shot moments are bought and sold each day on its own Flow blockchain, which continues to partner with other companies and NFT platforms as its payment and infrastructure provider. As Dapper grows its NBA product, it will look to replicate that success with NFL All Day, La Liga and UFC.
With hundreds of millions in funding, Dapper will have to prove continued and sustained growth and success to its investors and convince football, futbol and fight fans around the world that the NFT and blockchain trends in 2021 will last into 2022 and beyond.