Blockchain development firm Dapper Labs has secured $12mln in a new funding round headline by a number of NBA basketball stars.
Dapper Labs is most well-known as the development team responsible for the CyptoKitties DApp which exploded in popularity back in 2017. At the time the success of the DApp placed serious strain on Ethereum’s blockchain capacity, driving up transaction fees while slowing the processing of transactions on the network.
The most recent round of funding will be used for the ongoing development of Dapper Labs’ own blockchain platform called Flow. These NBA stars join an impressive list of new investors that includes the likes of Coinbase Ventures and 12 other tech focused investment groups as outlined by PR Newswire.
The NBA connection
Big name sports stars have often been used as brand ambassadors for various projects around the world and the cryptocurrency space is no different. The likes of Lionel Messi has famously endorsed Sirin Labs’ and their Finney blockchain smartphone.
Dapper Labs’ association with the NBA goes further than just a few players throwing their financial and personal weight behind the project. The NBA Top Shot application is currently being developed on the Flow blockchain and the company has just released results from its initial phase of beta testing.
NBA Top Shot was designed by Dapper Labs with the help and backing of the NBA and NBPA. The app is essentially a digital trading game, where players can collect and trade digital items with other users.
The NBA players that headlined the $12mln fundraising round include Miami Heat’s Andre Iguodala, Spencer Dinwiddie and Garrett Temple from the Brookln Nets, LA Lakers’ JaVale McGee and Aaron Gordon from Orlando Magic.
Dinwiddie has his own unique relationship with blockchain, having made headlines for launching his own platform that essentially allows professional sportspeople and artists to tokenize debt securities tied to their own careers.
Flow powering a number of projects
Dapper Labs intend to use this latest fundraising round to continue to build the Flow blockchain and the projects being developed on the platform.
The digital collectible platforms for these three companies are still in the early access registration phase. Nevertheless the scale of these brands will put pressure on Dapper Labs to expedite the scaling of the Flow blockchain.
Renowned French video game developers Ubisoft are also advising Dapper Labs on the ongoing development of Flow, while gleaning knowledge of the blockchain space as an added benefit of the collaboration.
Dapper Labs was founded in 2018 as a spin off from Axiom Zen, which was responsible for the development, launch and ongoing operation of CryptoKitties. The company has been primarily focused on building applications that power digital collectibles.
The company has some serious backing including venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Samsung as well as the founders of Dreamworks, Reddit, Coinbase and AngelList.