Tom Brady’s sports and entertainment NFT platform, Autograph, makes headlines as it raises $170 million in Series B funding round. It was co-led by the American venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Kleiner Perkins.
About “Autograph”- Tom Brady’s NFT Platform
Autograph is an NFT platform co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady in 2021. It attracts sportsmen and celebrities across the globe to launch digital collectibles. Influential figures like Tiger Woods, Simone Biles, and The Weeknd have contributed to the cause. The startup has seen tremendous growth since then and now raises big cash by selling NFTs. When Brady launched an NFT collection on Autograph last year, it sold out within a few minutes.
Autograph has investments from Lightspeed Venture partner Nicole Quinn and Katie Haun’s new firm. It has raised substantial funding and is expanding its advisory board. Haun will join the board of advisors of Autograph. The board will also have a16z General Partners Chris Dixon and Arianna Simpson along with Kleiner Perkins’ Ilya Fushman. The platform’s Series A funding round took place in July 2021. It was co-led by 01A and Velvet Sea Ventures.
Autograph was announced during the first NFT boom in April 2021. It went live with the partnership of DraftKings Marketplace in August 2021. Naomi Osaka, Tony Hawk, Wayne Gretzky, Usain Bolt, Derek Jeter, and Rob Gronkowski are other names whose NFTs have been released by Autograph.
According to the firm, the current funding was launched as a result of “several newly finalized” partnerships that haven’t been announced yet. NFT enthusiasts expect the platform to announce the same soon. Although Autograph’s initial focus was the sports sector, we now see an expansion of interest to diverse sectors like Lionsgate’s “Saw” movie franchise and collaborating with musician Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye to administer the platform’s musical dimension.
According to a tweet by Brady, Autograph is “pumped to add some really knowledgeable people in the Web3 space to our team.” According to a16z’s Dixon, Autograph is “starting with celebrities, but plans to support creators at every stage of development.”
NFTs and the Autograph
Autograph creates NFTs on Polygon. It is a sidechain scaling solution for Ethereum, a leading NFT platform. The platform is based in Los Angeles. It supports athletes and entertainers in launching non-fungible tokens and promoting these on the platform. These NFTs can be bought at platforms like DraftKings Inc and OpenSea.
As per DappRadar, the NFT market saw a trading volume worth $23 billion last year. The NFT market has had sports collectibles as a major part since its existence. Dapper Labs, which has alliances with the NFL, UFC, and LaLiga introduced NBA Top Shot NFTs to the public in 2021. Fanatics’ Candy Digital platform, with the official Major League Baseball license, quoted a $1.5 billion valuation and raised $100 million in October 2021.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Brady is an influential name belonging to the world of sports and entertainment for cryptocurrencies. He has an equity stake in FTX, a well-known crypto exchange. Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried is also on the board of Autograph.
With a $44 billion market today, NFTs are among the most in-demand digital tokens. These have not just attracted celebrities, but also institutions and retailers across the globe. Artists and influencers are taking an interest in NFTs and looking for prospects to use these as a part of expanding their work horizon.
The future of NFTs
With Tom Brady’s NFT Platform raising such a huge funding amount, we can easily estimate the relevance of NFTs right now and a bright future for these tokens. Audiences are still finding it a challenge to grasp the utility of NFTs but they cannot deny their popularity. If a video that stayed on the internet for more than 14 years can be sold as an NFT at a price of several hundred thousand dollars, then it would not be a surprise if NFTs occupy a substantial part of digital transactions in the future.
As many celebrities and influencers are looking for the growing value of NFTs as an investment, institutions like Autograph are creating opportunities for these stakeholders to engage in the process with efficacy. When influential entrepreneurs are foreseeing a promising future for NFTs, it is bound to generate curiosity among fans. While many people contest the actual value of these tokens and point to copyright violations, NFT owners and others who endorse the NFT ecosystem are optimistic about their importance in the future.
NFT has become a very popular way to determine digital property ownership through a blockchain ledger. Many people feel that NFTs are going to have more uses than being mere digital artworks. Using NFTs for digital purchases and NFTs driving ownership, licensing, and publishing of music and other works are some aspects that many are hopeful about. NFTs could easily offer access to limited-edition products and some popular brands are already working in that direction.
One of the most important sectors that could see a boost as far as the NFT trend is concerned is the $85 billion video game industry. Some studios have already started their experimentation. There are talks revolving around the metaverse, which is an interactive three-dimensional virtual environment proposed by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
If NFTs could be the building blocks for the future of the digital world, then people banking on NFTs now would gain immensely from their involvement. There are many sectors that are exploring the possibility of including NFTs as an essential part of their ecosystems. On one hand, gamers globally are excited to see what NFTs could do for the gaming industry, while on the other tech enthusiasts have already started speculating if NFTs would replace some of the important assets of today. Only time will tell whether or not we will witness such a tremendous transformation in the NFT sector.