Crypto May be Down But Thiel, Andreessen, and Cuban Still Love NFTs
1confirmation Venture Firm Launches $100M Fund for NFTs
By: Samuel Haig •Byte
Venture capitalists are famed for being patient. It often takes more than a decade for them to realize gains from their moves.
That may be why 1confirmation, a venture firm backed by Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, and Mark Cuban, just launched a $100M fund to double down on NFTs during the worst bear market in crypto in four years.
“We think that NFTs are going to flip cryptocurrencies in the next decade [because] people care about culture (games, brands, art, music, sports) than finance,” Nick Tomaino, the firm’s founder, tweeted.
The fund, launched June 22, will focus on new projects in the “gaming, art, photography, and music” sectors, as well as segments that will exist in the future. The fund will also be used to gain exposure to bluechip collections such as CryptoPunks and Nouns.
While NFTs may appear to be a “speculative casino” to outsiders, the technology has the potential to revolutionize the economics of the arts and entertainment industries, Tomaino said.
1confirmation has backed many of web3’s leading projects, including Ethereum in 2017, Coinbase in 2018, and Polkadot in 2019. The firm also invested in the dominant NFT marketplace, OpenSea, in 2018, and rival SuperRare in 2020.
The company’s portfolio also includes NFT-based music platform, Catalog, digital real estate exchange, Metahood, and NFT photography marketplace, Sloika.
Despite the firm’s optimism for nonfungibles, it acknowledges a “short-term trading culture led by influencers in NFTs today.” 1confirmation said it will distance itself from this side of the industry. Stating the NFT fund will be deployed over the next decade for long-term investments.
1confirmation is launching its fund at a time when mainstream brands are racing to embrace nonfungibles.
Also on June 22, major e-commerce platform Shopify said it will soon launch “tokengated experiences,” meaning that businesses will be able to offer exclusive products and discounts to followers that hold tokens from a specific collection. A video promoting the upcoming feature posted to Shopify’s social media includes animation and artwork from the popular NFT collection, Doodles.
Crypto-native NFT projects are also being exposed to increasingly mainstream audiences, with Bored Apes making appearances on The Tonight Show, a music video featuring Snoop Dogg, and inspiring the decor and theme for a restaurant in Long Island. CryptoPunks have also been publicly displayed as part of exhibitions held by SaveArtSpace across New York City and Miami.