For those who ignored the critique and negative publicity about NFTs, the investment proved to be a good one.
Non-fungible tokens acquired exposure in 2021, although the first one can be traced back to 2014.
Five years after launching their company, the founders of NFT platform OpenSea Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer, have seen the fruits of their labour. By July 2021, the NFT platform had closed a $100 million funding round that was led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and things have only looked up.
Based in New York, the blockchain was established in 2017 for the purpose of NFT exchanges. Through OpenSea, individuals can sell their art or buy art from another.
In addition to sales, users also have the ability to create NFTs on OpenSea. In exchange for their services, the online market place takes a 2.5 percentage from every transaction that occurs on the platform.
According to the OpenSea website, the founders of the company were fascinated by the movement of blockchain-native items and joined early adopter communities.
They spent their time gaining knowledge about Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and cryptocurrency, and participated in joined meet-ups hosted in San Francisco.
According to the Forbes list, Finzer and Atallah both have 18.5% stake in the company and around $2 billion respectively.
The value of the company leaped from just over $1 billion to $13.3 billion over a period of six months.
OpenSea went from monthly revenue of $28000 (R407 024) on average to making millions.
Transactions for the company hit $3.4 billion (R49.4 billion), a ten-fold increase and the company made $85 million (R1.2 billion) in revenue from commissions.
OpenSea are backed by successful figures in the business world including:
- Co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silberman
- Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian
- Former Coinbase CTO, Balaji Srinivasan
- Co-founder of Twitch, Justin Kan
- Founder and CEO of Shopify, Tobie Lutke
In February, Open Sea was hit by a phishing attack and at least 32 users lost their valuable NFTs worth $1.7 million (R24.5m).