NFT Marketplace Magic Eden Raised $130M to Expand Beyond the Solana Ecosystem

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Lead­ing Solana-based NFT mar­ket­place Mag­ic Eden has becomes a uni­corn in less than a year since its launch last Sep­tem­ber. The lat­est fundrais­ing round has pushed its val­u­a­tion to $1.6 bil­lion. The founders vowed to speed up its hir­ing spree despite the down­siz­ing trend hit­ting cryp­to firms amid mar­ket slumps.

A Multi-Chain Ambition

Mag­ic Eden – an NFT mar­ket­place that has account­ed for over 90% of the NFT vol­ume on Solana – announced that it had raised an addi­tion­al $130 mil­lion, with its val­u­a­tion reach­ing $1.6 bil­lion. This is rough­ly a ten­fold increase from its val­u­a­tion three months ago, accord­ing to a source acquired by Bloomberg.

The news came in the con­text of a grow­ing wave of pes­simism cloud­ing the cryp­to indus­try, with exchanges like Coin­base and Gem­i­ni mas­sive­ly trim­ming their work­force sizes to sur­vive through the months-long bear mar­ket. The com­pa­ny decid­ed to go against the head­wind, ready to near­ly triple its head­counts to 140 from the cur­rent 50 employees.

Jack Lu – co-founder of Mag­ic Eden – said NFT trans­ac­tion vol­ume on his plat­form has con­tin­ued to surge in the recent months though the price of SOL has been down more than 80% from ATH. The com­pa­ny had $7.5 mil­lion in rev­enue in May and has been prof­itable since launch, he added. The platform’s goal is to reach $100 mil­lion year­ly revenue.

Report­ed­ly, the pre­dom­i­nant plat­form on Solana is set to use the new­ly raised cap­i­tal to expand its pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary mar­ket­places and sup­port NFT creators.

Zhuox­un Yin, COO of Mag­ic Eden and a for­mer Coin­base prod­uct man­ag­er, revealed that the mar­ket­place plans to serve note­wor­thy NFT projects beyond the Solana net­work and sup­port mul­ti­ple blockchains in the future. How­ev­er, Yin did not spec­i­fy which blockchain besides Solana will be deployed to the mar­ket­place first.

Its main rival, OpenSea, cur­rent­ly sup­port­ing Solana, Ethereum, Klaytn, and Poly­gon, was val­ued at $13.3 bil­lion by Jan­u­ary this year. Found­ed less than a year ago, Mag­ic Eden has risen to be one of the top three NFT mar­ket­places, accord­ing to Dap­pradar. Its pri­ma­ry plat­form – Launch­pad – has over 250 projects, and its sec­ondary mar­ket­place has over 7,000 Collections.

Solana or Ethereum

Sequoia Cap­i­tal – the famed VC behind Mag­ic Eden, pre­vi­ous­ly expressed con­cern over OpenSea’s dom­i­nance in the NFT mar­ket, stat­ing that the plat­form could take advan­tage of the Solana ecosys­tem before OpenSea expand­ed its ser­vices to the blockchain.

Solana has attract­ed pri­mar­i­ly retail investors dri­ven by the notice­able advan­tage of Solana’s low gas fee for pro­cess­ing NFT trans­ac­tions. How­ev­er, the net­work is also known for its fre­quent turnoffs due to tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties, caus­ing tem­po­rary sus­pen­sions on block pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing trans­ac­tions. As such, secu­ri­ty is a pri­ma­ry con­cern regard­ing the Solana network.

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