Tallinn-based NFTPort raises $26m Series A round to become the leading NFT infrastructure
Estonia's NFTPort announced the closing of a $26 million Series A funding round co-led by Taavet+Sten, the investment vehicle of Taavet Hinrikus and Sten Tamkivi, and Atomico.
As part of the next phase of the company’s growth, Sten will join the team as a co-founder, as well as Rain Johanson, former CTO of Bolt, who joins as a CTO and co-founder along with Taivo Pungas. Additional investors include Filecoin creator Protocol Labs, Sparkle Ventures, IDEO CoLab Ventures, Polygon co-founder Jaynti Kanani, former Twilio CTO, Ott Kaukver, former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, and Polkadot co-founder Jutta Steiner, and many other founders.
Although NFTs have found adoption only recently, the concept itself has a rich history going back over 40 years. In 1980’s before WWW, Tim Berners-Lee tried to implement a standard similar to today’s NFT’s which could later be part of the WWW. He did so again in the 2000s by advocating for the concept of linked data (i.e. the Semantic Web). These efforts were unfortunately not successful due to their sheer technical complexity and non-adoption by the industry. Instead, the biggest beneficiaries of Web2 became today’s data monopolies which has driven inequality in society.
NFTPort believes that NFTs are short-term overvalued, especially as they are portrayed today as collectibles but long-term undervalued because they enable true ownership and interoperability in a growing digital economy. Thus their true potential lie in ability to break up today’s data monopolies by reimagining the existing Web2 data moats to a peer-to-peer one where citizens own today’s most precious currency - their personal data. This might be hard to grasp at first but so was a few hundred years when people first gained land ownership which brought equality and freedom into the society and gave birth to modern economy. In Estonia it happened only in 1991 when the country got its independence from Soviet Union as until everything was owned by the state. Tim Berners-Lee dreamt of an open data layer for the Internet and finally its promise is coming to life through NFTs. NFTPort's vision is to enable this by becoming the new data layer for the Internet with an open protocol that facilitates the flow of ownership on the Internet, just like TCP/IP today enables the flow of free information.
Building infrastructure is resource intensive in the initial phases thus a big part of the resources will go into scaling the existing infrastructure with the goal of helping the developers building on top of us to scale.Secondly, doubling down on building the best NFT infra experience for both Web2 & Web3 devs, with out-of-the-box multi-chain support, high reliability and scale that reaches into hundreds of thousands of NFT reads and writes across multiple chains. Thirdly, hiring one of the best teams in Web3. We will scale from 18 people today to 50+. See the available opportunities here. Finally, bringing to market a decentralized NFT infrastructure protocol because we believe Web3 will only reach it’s true potential if it’s also built on top of decentralized infrastructure and the Internet can be owned by citizens.
NFTPort is the Stripe for NFTs: one-stop, simple NFT Infrastructure and APIs for developers to bring NFT applications to market in hours instead of months. NFTPort takes care of the infrastructure so that developers can focus on building their applications. NFTPort provides APIs for multi-chain NFT data and easy NFT minting, together with enhanced functionalities for search, recommendations and detecting NFT counterfeits.