Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six venture capital firm led a $54 million funding round for the Doodles NFT project, which would help it expand to music and gaming.
The overall NFT market may be experiencing generally bleak conditions right now, but the vibrant Doodles NFT project is brighter than ever after raising $54 million of equity funding on Tuesday. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six venture capital firm led the funding round supported by Acrew Capital, FTX Ventures, and 10T Holdings.
The Doodles NFT project started minting its pastel-colored NFTs less than a year ago and has since become one of the most significant and well-loved profile picture collections on the Web3 space. Per data from NFTPriceFloor, the 10,000-image collection is valued at about $121 million.
Doodles NFT Project’s Latest Funding
The team behind the Doodles intends to use its latest funding to expand in two specific NFT sectors that are drawing much interest from the public—music and gaming. Incidentally, the company claims the $54 million freshly raised funds will bring its valuation to $704 million.
A Seven Seven Six founding partner, Katelin Holloway, was first introduced by Ohanian, who happens to be an early collector of Doodles. After meeting the team at the South by Southwest Conference, the brand’s diverse community instantly caught her interest. She has since become a Doodles board member.
Doodles CEO Julian Holguin, who was brought into the Doodles NFT project in May, notes that the project is determined to draw from Holloway’s vast experiences as an HR executive to expand the company/project internally and externally.
“As we scale and we scale rapidly,” says Holguin, “having her as a sounding board and as a true partner is going to be invaluable because we want to be built on culture, we want to elicit joy and creativity.”
Doodles NFT Project’s Potential
Since its initial mint in October 2021, the Doodles NFT project has demonstrated a strong history of community integration. When it first launched, the management decided to turn off its Discord channel, which had 1,000 participants. Some thought the controversial decision would alienate the project from potential collectors.
However, quite the opposite happened. The move generated hype within the emerging NFT community; thus, the NFT artworks’ popularity transcended. Currently, the Doodles NFT project touts big-name NFT collectors, including entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, Justin Bieber, and DJ Steve Aoki.
From then on, the Doodles NFT project team has continuously worked with collectors, letting Doodles NFT holders commercialize their NFTs for up to $100,000 before demanding a licensing agreement. The team even hires holders and creators of the artworks’ derivatives as illustrators.
“We’re very keen on actually developing other people’s opportunities to utilize their characters in their own commercial efforts,” says Holguin. “It just needs to be controlled.”
In June this year, the Doodles NFT project onboarded singer and songwriter Pharrell Williams as a chief brand officer, paving the way for blockchain technology to be used in different applications. According to Holguin, music NFTs, in particular, are a great way to introduce people to Web3. After all, not many people have embraced the promising idea of a new, decentralized Internet model based on blockchains.
“We want to create products for our core collector base, but at the same time utilize these great forms of marketing like music, to introduce new people to Web3 and onboard them into the Doodles ecosystem,” he adds.
In the next six months, expect the release of Doodles’ music NFT project in collaboration with Columbia Records. The company is stingy on details, but it did say the music project involved a song that would get radio airplay and streaming exposure but offer “an underlying adaptation experience,” particularly for NFT holders.
The Doodles NFT project’s second area of focus for its most recent funding is gaming. The company notes that NFTs utilized in gaming have become the most traded type. So much so that they have surpassed the art-and-collectibles hype train that was all the rage in 2021. According to collected data, gaming tokens made up 77% of weekly NFT sales in August alone.
As mentioned at the onset, things are currently bleak for NFTs on the whole. Prices and trading for NFTs have decelerated in recent months. Whereas reaching a high of nearly $3.5 billion transactions in May, only $191 million was traded in August. The decline in NFT transactions is due to the bear market and investors shifting away from risky investments.
Still, the Doodles NFT project shows its potential by having a better, albeit still lower, transaction volume over the last 30 days than major NFT collections. Doodles’ transaction volume is down 6.41%, whereas that of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project is down 40%, while CryptoPunks (the second-largest NFT collection based on market value) is way down at 77%.
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