Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and future Hall of Fame player Tom Brady is making big plays off the football field by procuring $170 million in venture capital funding for his crypto startup.
The company, Autograph, is a non-fungible token (NFT) platform that is capitalizing on the craze of NFTs. On the back of a bullish year for cryptocurrencies, NFTs are picking up where digital currencies are faltering with increased investor interest.
Celebrities have been quick to leverage the popularity of NFTs with their own digital products. Autograph, in particular, certainly benefits off the star power of Brady, who is a co-founder of the startup.
Autograph’s goal is to assist high-profile clients, namely athletes and entertainers, with launching their own NFT platforms. The company already boasts big names from the world of sports.
“Its chief executive officer, Dillion Rosenblatt, formerly worked at Cameo and Apple Music,” Bloomberg reports. “Its rosters of celebrities with NFT deals include Tiger Woods, Noami Osaka and Tony Hawk. Fans can purchase the NFTs at designated platforms, such as DraftKings Inc and OpenSea. Valuation of the startup was not disclosed today.”
Autograph, not even a year old, was launched last July. It only underscores the fast-rising popularity of NFTs, which is expected to get even more heated in 2022 with other startups jumping on board in the midst of heavy demand.
“We’re in the midst of an exciting moment in the evolution of the next generation of the internet,” said Katie Haun, a Lightspeed Venture partner who invested in Autograph. “Autograph has assembled a world class team that understands how to build trusted, delightful product experiences that will accelerate the mainstreaming of crypto.”
web3 isn’t just a tech movement. It’s a cultural one.
— cdixon.eth (@cdixon) January 19, 2022
A $40 Billion Market in 2021
As mentioned, despite the recent weakness of leading cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ether, digital currencies saw a bullish 2021. A byproduct of that was NFTs also gaining a significant portion of the digital asset market share, becoming a $40 billion market last year.
“This year (2021) witnessed the NFT market explode from a sub-billion-dollar market to a multi-decabillion industry,” said Mason Nystrom, research analyst at crypto data group Messari.
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