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NBA Top Shots’ Dapper Labs Eyes Soccer NFTs

Matthew Fleischman

Dapper Labs, the company behind the NBA Top Shots NFT platform, raised $250 million, now eyes Spanish Soccer with LaLiga partnership.

Dapper Labs Inc, the brains behind the popular NBA Top Shots Platform, and Cryptokitties, raised $250 million in a recent round of fundraising.  The NFT based company also announced their newest deal as they partner with Spanish Football League LaLiga. With this new partnership, Dapper Labs is priming to offer digital collectibles to soccer fans.

Fundraising

The recent round of fundraising, the second one Dapper Labs held this year, was lead by Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management. The drive added to current investors GV, Andreessen Horowitz’a a16z, and Version One Ventures.  One new investor included BOND and GIC, who believe in the potential Dapper Labs have long term.  Additionally, it seems they have put their faith behind NBA Top Shots, as well as Dapper Labs customer-facing blockchain flow. 

“Blockchain and crypto are foundational underpinnings for the next wave of technology evolution… With NBA Top Shot and a compelling pipeline of products to come, Dapper Labs is leading the way with the innovative Flow platform. We are excited to be a part of this journey – and its next iterations – with Roham and team.”

Mary Meeker, General Partner of BOND.

This round of funding raised $250 million for the NFT collectible company.  Considering the other $305 million and $65 million they also raised in 2021 added to this amount, it is not a bad year for them.  Furthermore, Dapper Laps’ main project NBA Top Shots has had large growth this year.  For instance, over $780 Million in collectibles bought and sold in over 13 million transitions on the platform.   

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“This round, for me, was much more about bringing the right partners around the table for our next leg of growth. Earlier this year, we proved the concept for NFTs and I think we’ve seen the industry as a whole exploding… And we’ve got the platform that can power thousands of times more activity than we see today.”

Roham Gharegozlou, Dapper Labs co-founder and chief executive officer.

Expanding into Soccer with LiLga Partnership

While all this funding was happening, Dapper Labs was out hustling and sealing a partnership with the popular Football League, LaLiga.  The partnership aims to give users more opportunities to own and collect NFTs of over 10 seasons.  Additionally, the platform will feature content from several teams from the league. Teams including Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, Sevilla FC, and others. 

This project has the ability to bring in an incredibly large number of fans.  For example, Twitter for Real Madrid, one of the new teams Dapper now has access to, has more than 38 million followers.  This influx of fans to the platform will be a windfall for the company. Moreover, it could and will bring NFTs into more common use.  

No roadmap was put out on how they hope to expand.  Although it seems Dapper Labs plans to copy their successful NBA Top Shots platform. On NBA Top Shots, users can buy NFT cards that represent moments from NBA games, as well as NBA players.  The packs they offer often sell out in minutes.  They can also buy, sell and trade their cards to and from other users. Values of these products fluctuate over time.  

“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.

Expansion

The timing of the fundraising couldn’t have happened at a better time for Dapper Labs.  With this new influx of funds, they can now, not only expand into the new Soccer market but also develop a mobile product.  Additionally, the company is exploring real-world benefits for its users, and expansion into “basically all major sports”.

LaLiga is the first big league announcement that we’re making, but there will be more coming in the next few months as well,”

Roham Gharegozlou, CEO, Dapper Labs

Dapper Labs plans to launch their new Soccer NFT products with partner LiLagi in mid-2022.

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