Zora Labs, an NFT marketplace from the US has raised $50 million in funding. The round was led by crypto investors Katie Haun’s new firm, Haun Ventures. It marks the VC firm’s first deal in the NFT industry.
First NFT deal for the crypto investor
Besides Haun Ventures, other investors in the round include Coinbase Ventures and Kindred Ventures. Huan led OpenSea’s Series B funding round while at a16z. Also, the investment round values the NFT startup at $600 million.
Notably, in March, Katie Haun announced that she raised $1.5 billion for her new fund after leaving venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. This is the largest solo fundraise by a female VC firm founder to date. The firm is dedicated to making web 3 investments.
She was Andreessen Horowitz’s first female general partner hire, and together with Chris Dixon was responsible for profitable investments like Coinbase.
With the investment, Zora Labs will focus on letting anyone enable anyone to create and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The company is in plans to launch the Zora DAO (decentralised autonomous organization) to expand the ownership of Zora to its community. It will always be a permissionless infrastructure.
“In our original manifesto, we set out to collectively shatter the idea that They Thought They Could Own Us,” Horne wrote. “Since then, each member of our community has been working to dismantle the gates that have historically held back our creative independence. Today, we are excited to introduce our latest venture contributor supporting these efforts.”
“For our ecosystem, this is an acceleration of the public infrastructure that facilitates your advancement as artists, developers, and communities. It means more permissionless code deployed on more chains, better APIs, more Zoratopias around the world, and an increase in grants and hackathons,” Horne added.
Buy and sell NFTs easily
Founded in 2020 by Jacob Horne and Slava Kim, Zora Labs is a public protocol for anyone worldwide to buy, sell, and create NFTs. Unlike other protocols, Zora focuses on intuitive tooling and a diverse and energised NFT community to make it possible for people to launch entire NFT collections, independent marketplaces, and experiences.
Zora’s marketplace operates entirely on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing creators to build directly on the protocol. Because of this, Zora NFTs can easily be traded on other marketplaces and sites.
It is a marketplace where many record-breaking NFT auctions have been built and sold. Some of these include Doge NFT ($4 million), the first TikTok NFT, Mad Realities, James Jean ($6 million) Poolsuite, Punks House, and the Warhol Foundation.
What’s more, Zora Labs tackles technical challenges and produces easy-to-use tools for developers and artists. Over 50% of the volume on the Zora protocol happens on marketplaces that are not on its website.
The company wants to provide easier tools for artists and teams to launch any NFT collection they would like, including editions, generative drops, dutch auctions, and whatever’s next.