A16z leads $50 million seed round for Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT project
- VeeFriends’ current price floor is 7.18 ETH
- 24-hour trading volume is 51,205 ETH, up almost 28%, with seven sales
Venture capital firm Adreessen Horowitz (a16z) said it is leading a $50 million seed round for Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT venture VeeFriends – marking a bright spot in a challenging funding landscape for digital asset-focused startups.
Celebrity influencer and VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, or Gary Vee, launched VeeFriends in May 2021.
VeeFriends intends to use the seed capital to expand its intellectual property (IP) across physical and digital platforms for the 283 VeeFriends characters, according to a Medium post. The platform also plans to hire new ones.
Chris Lyons, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, tweeted additional details about the firm’s support for the “growing Web3 company.” A spokesperson for Vaynerchuk declined to comment.
Claiming that VeeFriends “represents the ethos of entrepreneurship,” Lyons also praised Vaynerchuk’s “commitment to supporting community members’ personal growth.”
Vaynerchuk hand-drew each cartoon animal—such as a “wise wasp” and a “generous gerbil”—in the style of doodle art and attributed it to a specific human trait. Seventeen such characters are featured on a special edition of UNO.
Lyons found that some of these “meaningful qualities of humanity”—tolerance, patience, and authenticity—were inspiring to society.
Each token grants entry to the VeeCon conference, the first of which took place in May in Minneapolis. The tokens are categorized into three levels and rarity is broken down by background color and access level to VeeCon and to Gary Vaynerchuk.
VeeFriends said the collection had raised over 200,000 ETH in primary and secondary sales during its relatively short life. It is among the top 30 collections with the most trading volume of all time on OpenSea.
A spin out collection, VeeFriends Series 2, was released with new characters earlier this year. Part of the utility of the second collection is a trading card game.
A16z also led recently a $25 million seed round to fund the launch of Co:Create, a new protocol that aims to support the growth of NFT projects and enable them to launch their own native tokens. VaynerFund, Vaynerchuk’s investment fund, was also an investor.
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