As if NFTs needed any more buzz.
An all-star lineup of angel investors and venture capitalists has plowed more than $100M into a fund raised by a firm called Sfermion. Among the big names in the fundraise: Marc Andreessen, the Winklevoss twins, British billionaire Alan Howard, and Matthew Roszak, the chairman and co-founder of Bloq, the Chicago-based blockchain infrastructure firm.
The fund, Sfermion’s second, is designed to back ventures that will accelerate the development of the metaverse, the virtual space that’s become a testing ground for using NFTs as a form of tokenomics, the firm said in a statement today. The metaverse had rapidly become a household term in crypto even before Mark Zuckerberg announced last week that Facebook was changing its corporate name to Meta as part of a strategic shift.
Sfermion, founded in 2019 by entrepreneur Andrew Steinwold, was an early mover in NFTs. It’s invested in more than three dozen projects, including OpenSea, SuperRare and Art Blocks. The firm takes stakes in early-stage projects, tokens, and NFTs themselves. Yet it’s betting big that NFTs are going to amount to far more than collectible assets.
“With internet ubiquity, gaming, AI, and consumer tech accelerating the emergence of our digital lives, NFTs are becoming essential footholds to protect user content and rights online,” said Dan Patterson, general partner at Sfermion, in a statement. “Sfermion was founded on the idea that NFTs will be fundamental building blocks of the metaverse, imbued with the crypto ethos of decentralized power and open access.”
The deal hits at a time when NFTs are increasingly being accepted as one of the Ethereum blockchain’s major use cases. Institutions ramping up NFT strategies include professional sports leagues, fine art museums, Hollywood studios, and the auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s.