NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs announced its latest round of funding Wednesday, taking in $250 million from new and existing investors. A source familiar with the deal said Dapper Labs raised money at a $7.6 billion valuation, tripling its value since March.
Coatue led the round, joined by a16z and new investors, including BOND. “Blockchain and crypto are foundational underpinnings for the next wave of technology evolution,” BOND general partner Mary Meeker said in a statement. “With NBA Top Shot and a compelling pipeline of products to come, Dapper Labs is leading the way.”
The blockchain unicorn also made its tie-up with LaLiga official. As previously reported, a Top Shot-like product for LaLiga will launch next summer. Dapper Labs is once again building an offering around collecting moments, though head of partnerships Caty Tedman said in an interview that the experience would be adapted to better fit the sport of soccer. For one, that likely means longer video clips. Dapper Labs may also lean into soccer’s historic rivalries, including that of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Tedman said LaLiga first connected with the startup back in 2019. Since then, Top Shot has facilitated nearly $800 million in NFT sales, helping to usher in a new level of awareness for crypto applications.
Along the way, LaLiga has done deals with other blockchain companies: Socios, which sells fan tokens, and Sorare, which mixes NFT collectibles with fantasy gaming mechanics. Earlier this week, Sorare announced its own funding round, bringing in $680 million at a $4.3 billion valuation, with plans to open an office in the U.S.
“I hope one day that we’ll all be working together on creating a really interesting ecosystem of engagement,” Tedman said. “Right now, we’re very, very focused on the on-field play, which is a differentiator.”
Dapper Labs’ long-term goal, as expressed by CEO Roham Gharegozlou, is to “put a crypto wallet in everybody’s pocket.” In addition to bespoke league partnerships, Dapper Labs operates the Flow blockchain, which is open to third-party developers and currently home to more than 3,000 brand projects.
Tedman said her conversations with leagues have changed dramatically over the last year. “There’s a real desire, for almost every brand that I’ve talked to, to participate in the space now,” she said. NBA Top Shot recently added WNBA moments to its platform, and now has its eyes on the upcoming start of the NBA season in October. “We’re really, really focused on growth now,” Tedman said.