A loaded list of athletes and celebrities, highlighted by Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Will Smith, and Ashton Kutcher, have pledged a total of $305 million to Dapper Labs, the creator of NBA Top Shot.
The roster of 30 athletes and celebrities also includes Klay Thompson, Alex Caruso, and Andre Iguodala, along with a handful of NFL and MLB athletes. 2 Chainz, The Chernin Group, Venrock, and USV were also involved.
Following this round of funding, Business Insider said Dapper Labs’ valuation is roughly 2.6 billion.
NBA Top Shot is an online-only marketplace where an individual can buy, sell, or trade their favorite NBA highlights. Each highlight is referred to as a moment and each moment is owned by a user through a unique serial number.
In reality, these moments are the new era of sports cards. Rather than a physical card with statistics on the back, a moment has a video highlight of a Luka Doncic step-back 3-pointer or a Giannis Antetokounmpo slam dunk over a defender.
These highlights are considered collectible digital art or CryptoArt. Like art, the value of the moment is whatever somebody is willing to pay for it.
Since its October 2020 launch, NBA Top Shot has seen more than 800,000 users and garnered over $480 million in sales. Some rare moments are even selling north of $100,000.
According to Dapper Labs, it has raised $357 million in total capital and it hopes to bring Top Shot to other popular sports leagues, including the UFC, which was previously announced.
“NBA Top Shot is successful because it taps into basketball fandom — it’s a new and more exciting way for people to connect with their favorite teams and players,” Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, said in a statement. “We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues as well as help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches in exploring open platforms.”
NBA Top Shot is officially licensed by the NBA. The NBA partnered with Dapper Labs to develop NBA Top Shot.