Michael Jordan-backed NFT marketplace Metaplex raises $46 million in latest funding round to expand into metaverse

Jordan suits up for the Chicago Bulls in 1996.

Multicoin Capital and Jump Crypto led a $46 million funding round for Metaplex. 
Nearly 100 individual investors also participated, including NBA legends Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson. 
Metaplex allows users to build Solana-based NFT marketplaces, and has already been used to make over 85,000 projects.
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Metaplex, which allows users to build Solana-based NFT marketplaces, completed a $46 million funding round that included NBA legends Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson.

Multicoin Capital and Jump Crypto led the fundraise, with Solana Ventures, Alameda Research, and Animoca Brands also participating — in addition to nearly 100 individual investors. 

The capital infusion will allow the company to expand more broadly into gaming and metaverse applications in 2022, and also provide grants to support underrepresented communities, according to Metaplex. 

The company’s protocol has been used to make over 85,000 projects and over 5.7 million NFTs since it launched in June 2021, according to Metaplex. Since then, it also has handled $385 million worth of NFT transactions, led by Degen Ape Academy and Aurory.

“We believe the metaverse will be open, censorship-resistant and globally accessible,” Sergey Vasylchuk, director of the Metaplex Foundation, said in a press release. “In this metaverse, Metaplex will serve as a common protocol and NFT standard to empower the next wave of decentralized commerce, social and gaming experiences.”

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX supported Metaplex’s initial launch of its NFT marketplace, as the platform was meant to bolster the infrastructure of the Solana network. 

In September, Metaplex tapped Adam Jefferies as new CEO, while naming high-profile board members from Coinshares, Saber Labs, and Cultur3 Capital.

Interest in the startup comes as the total market capitalization of Solana’s NFT market recently passed $1 billion, per Solanalysis data

JPMorgan noted that ethereum is losing ground to rivals in the NFT marketplace, and that solana could see a boost. Due to sky-high transaction fees on the network, the bank’s analysts found that ethereum’s NFT volume share has fallen from 95% to around 80% over the past year.

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Markets, MI Exclusive, Markets, Solana, NFTs, Ethereum, Michael Jordan, Metaverse

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