- Ex. Lyft Financial Director Roberts was excited about what OpenSea can do for NFTs and crypto
- We’re talking to investors about additional funds
Tech veteran Brian Roberts will serve as OpenSea’s first chief financial officer, the latest sign that companies backed by web 3.0 cash and talent are thriving.
Financial guru John Roberts recently resigned from Lyft Inc after 7 years to pursue other goals. He claims that he voted with his feet for this decision to go with his gut, which I think is a great way to make decisions like these. Roberts said: “While I’m a big fan of Lyft, the new platforms that help with buying and selling NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – made it an easy choice.”
I’ve been excited about a business idea for a long time. It reminds me of 1995 eBay.
Roberts who previously worked at Microsoft Corp. and Walmart Inc. has left his position to join the crypto craze which includes dozens of other executives who have left their traditional positions at big tech companies like Facebook or Venrock during this past year. There has been a recent boom in investment, with experts coming in to address this burgeoning industry. Recently there has been over $21 billion invested into the sector – six times the amount of previous years.
Founded in 2017, OpenSea is a marketplace for non-fungible tokens–unique digital assets authenticated on the blockchain. non-fungible tokens include pretty much anything from sports memorabilia to art collections. OpenSea is expanding rapidly and offers a wide variety of items for sale. In just one year, they’ve already processed more than $10 billion in transactions with more than 700 000 customers.
Raising More Funds
The Founder and CEO of OpenSea confirmed that his company is in talks with investors to raise more funds, but hasn’t determined the type of investor they want to add. The company’s lead investors include A16Z, Founders Fund, Coin amongst others.
He and Roberts refused to comment on the status of the discussions. People familiar with the talks say investors are seeking to invest around $1 billion at a valuation north of $12 billion. When OpenSea raised money last month, investors valued it at $1.5 billion
Roberts, the person in charge of shepherding Lyft’s rapid growth into a successful IPO and then adjusted profitability, says that OpenSea is already profitable. In an interview, he stated that although it doesn’t need to raise more funds, the funds could be used to acquire companies, strike partnerships, or create joint ventures to further expand the use of NFTs into new industries.
“I’ve seen a lot of P&Ls but I’ve never seen one like this,” said Roberts. Even though he says it’s too early for the NFT industry in general and OpenSea specifically, he’s already thinking about an IPO.
“In spite of our company’s growth rate, we’re not thinking about going public.”
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