Founder: Roham Gharegozlou (CEO), Mik Nayeem, Dieter Shirley
Financing: $650 million
Valuation: $7.6 billion
Key Technologies: Blockchain, Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Industry: fintech, games
Previous appearances on the Disruptor 50 list: 0
Despite continued market volatility, investors are chasing the next big thing in crypto.
Dapper Labs made its way onto the scene through its NBA Top Shot platform, which allows users to trade and collect basketball highlights in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The highlights or “Moments” are licensed by the NBA, which receives royalties on each transaction. Notable early investors include basketball legends Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant.
The Vancouver-based company has also developed its own blockchain called Flow, designed for NFTs. It previously relied on Ethereum for platform sales, but shifted off that network after its popular digital pet game, CryptoKitties, caused slower transaction processing in 2017. It is currently in the process of migrating CryptoKitties to Flow.
Dapper Labs says its mission is to “drive the mainstream adoption of decentralized technology, where everything is transparent, auditable, and accessible to all.”
NFTs are tradable assets that track who owns a particular digital object — say, an artwork or video game avatar — on the blockchain, which is largely purchased with cryptocurrency. They burst into mainstream consciousness in a big way last year. In fact, non-fungible token sales surged to over $17 billion in 2021, according to a report by NFT data firm Nonfungible.com. The study, developed with BNP Paribas-owned research firm L’Atelier, says trading in NFTs reached $17.6 billion last year, a staggering 21,000% increase from the $82 million total -dollar reflects in 2020.
Dapper Labs recently announced a partnership with LaLiga, Spain’s top soccer league, to offer soccer fans an experience similar to NBA Top Shot.
For years, crypto critics have slandered the global shift toward digital currency for “proof-of-work” mining, which requires sophisticated equipment and a lot of electricity.
“Unlike other blockchains, we designed Flow to be the cleanest and most energy-efficient alternative, where minting an NFT on Flow emits less carbon than posting it on a social network,” Dapper Labs told CNBC.
The company secured $250 million in September, valued at $7.5 billion. The company plans to invest some of the fresh money into new experiences like paid travel and major sporting events.
Sign up for our original weekly newsletter, which extends beyond the annual Disruptor 50 list and offers a closer look at list-making companies and their innovative founders.
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/17/dapper-labs-disruptor-50.html Dapper Labs: 2022 CNBC Disruptor 50