NFT start-up Dapper Labs acquires Sequoia-backed Brud

NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs has acquired virtual influencer start-up Brud

Conference call montage featuring virtual influencer Lil Miquela and some of the team at Brud                                 
Dapper Labs has snapped up Brud, creator of virtual influencer Lil Miquela (centre) – Photo: Brud
                                

Dapper Labs, the blockchain start-up behind the popular NBA Top Shot maker, has acquired the venture-capital backed business Brud which created virtual Instagram influencer Lil Miquela.

Brud’s 32-person team will be brought in house to build Dapper Collectives, a new business unit empowered to further Brud’s mission of creating community-owned media and collectively-built worlds.

Rise of the NFTs

It has been a busy few months for the non-fungible token (NFT) business Dapper Labs. It raised $250m (£184m, €217m) in venture capital funding last month, resulting in a $7.6bn valuation, up from $2.6bn in March this year. Its valuation has also tripled over the last six months as the popularity of NFTs continue to grow.

Last month, the company announced a new partnership with Spain’s football league La Liga to turn the most memorable moments into collectable NFTs, as well as partnering with influential athletes, such as Dwayne Wade. 

Dapper Labs’ rise to prominence came after the rapid growth this year in its flagship offering NBA Top Shot – a blockchain-based online marketplace that allows fans to buy, sell and trade digital highlights of NBA players and games. 

CEO promises creative independence

Conference call montage featuring virtual influencer Lil Miquela and and the team at Brud
The staffing team at Brud enjoy a conference call with virtual influencer Lil Miquela (centre) – Photo: Brud

Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou confirmed that the Brud team will “have creative independence to do what they do best – while being able to rely on the infrastructure and expertise of the Dapper Labs mother organisation, not to mention 1.2 million Dapper Wallet users”.

He added: “The Brud team will help launch and scale a new business unit – Dapper Collectives – with the mission of bringing decentralised organisations (DAOs) to the mainstream.”

Trevor McFedries, CEO of Brud, added: “Our mission is to change the world through community-owned storytelling. Joining Dapper Labs today allows us to accelerate and expand that mission on the fast-growing Flow blockchain. With profound gratitude for our board, amazing partners, best-in-class investors and longtime supporters, I can’t wait for the adventure ahead with the most amazing team in the world.”

Further reading: Rugby League World Cup unveils sport’s first NFT marketplace

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