- Magic Eden, the leading Solana-based NFT marketplace, has raised $130 million at a $1.6 billion valuation.
- The marketplace plans to expand beyond Solana to include other platforms, as well.
Magic Eden, an marketplace that currently commands the vast majority of the market, is gearing up for expansion. Today, the startup announced that it has raised $130 million in Series B funding with plans to expand beyond the Solana ecosystem.
The Series B values Magic Edenwhich was founded last Septemberat $1.6 billion. That makes it the latest crypto unicorn with a valuation of $1 billion or more. Electric Capital and Greylock co-led the round, with new investor Lightspeed Venture Partners also participating alongside previous investors Paradigm and Sequoia Capital.
Magic Eden is only three months removed from its last fundraise announcement: a $27 million Series A round revealed in March. Jack Lu, CEO and co-founder of Magic Eden, told Decrypt that the startup didnt plan to raise money again so quickly, but said that its rising market share and increasing NFT gaming presence convinced him to build up a war chest.
We didn’t want to feel resource-constrained, he explained, and we wanted to build for the next five to 10 years.
Building out to other blockchains
Beyond pushing even harder on its gaming verticalwhich has a key rival in Fractal, a Solana NFT gaming platform from Twitch co-founder Justin KanMagic Eden also plans to add support for NFTs on other blockchain platforms.
It’s really clear that we are inand we’ll be ina multi-chain world for a while, explained COO and co-founder Zhouxun Yin. He suggested that some types of NFTs, such as games, artwork, and music, are coalescing around certain blockchain platforms and that Magic Eden hopes to serve them, but would not specify any blockchains that the marketplace plans to adopt.
An NFT works like a proof of ownership, and theyre often applied to digital goods like artwork, profile pictures, collectibles, and video game items. Solana is currently the second most popular platform for NFTs behind in terms of trading volume.
The Solana ecosystem has shown notable signs of momentum in recent weeks, such as multiple instances of a Solana NFT project topping all Ethereum projects in daily trading volume, and even a single day in which all combined Solana NFT trading volume topped that of Ethereum.
Lu pointed to diversifying use cases for NFTs on Solana, plus a rising influx of Ethereum NFT traders starting to dabble in the Solana space. He also suggested that Solanas NFT trading meta changes often, with new trends appearing every couple of weeks and keeping NFT collectors engaged and buying.
Magic Eden claims a roughly 90% or greater share of the Solana NFT secondary market. Despite the hype, leading overall NFT marketplace OpenSeas addition of Solana support in April doesnt appear to have had much of an impact. If anything, Magic Edens co-founders think it was positive for the platform.
Yin said that theyve seen Solana and Ethereum profile picture collections converging as a market, which he said theyve long expected. He added that having OpenSea and Rarible both add Solana NFTs at the same time helped validate the space in the wider NFT community.
While the wider NFT market is down in recent weeks due to the crypto market crash, and Solana (SOL) has lost about 60% of its USD value since the start of May, Lu said that Magic Eden has seen higher SOL transaction volumes in recent weeks.
With Magic Eden eyeing expansion to other blockchain platforms, the co-founders believe that the marketplace has a real shot at dethroning the more centralized/corporate OpenSea, as Yin described it, as opposed to its more community-centric, DAO-aided approach.
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