A new round of fundraising could peg the company behind NBA Top Shot at an incredible $7.5 billion.
It’s almost as if every time we blink, Dapper Labs multiplies in value.
Just three weeks ago, the crypto technology company behind the Flow blockchain that powers NBA Top Shot announced it raised $305 million in funding, pegging them at an estimated $2.6 billion valuation. Now, The Information reports that the company is hard at work at another fundraising round.
And this one could take that valuation figure above $7.5 billion.
During the previous round of funding, Dapper Labs said it would use the new money to grow its staff and build digital collectible platforms for other leagues and licenses. Currently backed by investors like Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Coinbase Ventures, Samsung, and Coatue, the Vancouver-based company is well on its way to surpassing the half-billion mark in capital raised.
So, just how big can one crypto technology company get? How big does Dapper need to get to meet every last long-term goal?
NBA Top Shot has already proved incredibly lucrative since its October launch, racking up more than $520 million in initial and secondary-market sales of its highlight Moments. In addition to making a good chunk of money retailing virtual “packs” of NFT Moments, the company rakes in a 5% commission on all resale transactions conducted on Top Shot’s official peer-to-peer marketplace.
With the platform experiencing massive success despite basically no traditional marketing, many have speculated that Dapper’s next move could involve applying Top Shot’s model to other sports and games, like Sorare has done for soccer.
Given the occasional technological growing pains that the incredible demand for Top Shot has revealed, however, such an expansion beyond the NBA will require significant investments in labor and infrastructure.
And that might perfectly explain where this latest fundraising buzz is coming from.
Expansion to other US sports leagues seems like the obvious play. With NBA Top Shot becoming such a monster revenue-driver, it seems almost inevitable that an NFL version would thrive on an even greater scale. After all, legendary tight end Rob Gronkowski and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes brought in nearly $6 million combined with their own private NFT auctions, and Tom Brady is launching his own platform dedicated to crypto collectibles.
According to MarketWatch, the NFL itself is valued at $13 billion — nearly double the NBA — which likely makes a potential deal with America’s most popular sports league an expensive one for Dapper Labs.
With the MLB opting to roll with Topps in the NFT trading cards and collectibles space, a deal with the NFL, NHL, or other major brands outside of sports entirely will be something to watch. Ongoing influxes of capital should put Dapper in a position where it is unlikely to be outbid by industry competitors, but if the NFL chooses a different NFT dance partner, is the company scalable to the degree of a $7.5 billion valuation?
The question is somewhat rhetorical, as there is no way to know just what’s next for Dapper Labs. But it’s clear that they’re in an utterly unique position given their skyrocketing market value and ability to raise capital, and are blazing in a trail in the crypto technology space that will be widely emulated across sports, pop culture, and gaming in the months and years to come.
If they really do have a major announcement up their sleeve, consider just how fast this company makes moves. We likely won’t have to wait very long for the big reveal.