Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Kevin Rose's NFT startup, Proof, raises $50M

Aug 31, 2022
Animated illustration of an ornate frame with falling dollar signs

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Proof, the NFT startup founded by Kevin Rose, raised $50 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Why it matters: Investors have not been dissuaded from investing in the NFT market, even after prices and trading volumes plummeted over the last six months.

Flashback: The new financing quickly follows a $10 million round the company raised in April from Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm, Seven Seven Six.

  • That money came soon after Proof released its ultra-buzzy Moonbirds NFTs, which very quickly rocketed up OpenSea's rankings of top NFT collections.

Context: Since then, however, NFT values have plummeted both in ETH and real-dollar terms.

  • Moonbirds had a mint price of 2.5 ETH — or roughly $7,500 at the time — and quickly rose to a minimum of 30 ETH each, or roughly $90,000 at April’s ETH price.
  • Today, the collection’s floor price is 14.5 ETH, and the value of ETH has also fallen dramatically. With ETH trading at roughly half its April price, the cheapest Moonbird is now valued at around $23,000.

Yes, but: In less than six months, the collection has driven over 200,000 ETH in volume traded, or around $350 million at today's price.

  • And Proof collects a 5% royalty fee for each sale.

What’s next: The startup is looking to launch a DAO to oversee Moonbirds licensing, after coming under scrutiny for adopting the CC0 public license for some of its collections.

  • It plans to release a new Moonbird Mythics NFT collection in early 2023.
  • It also teased the possibility of launching its own native Proof token, following in the footsteps of Yuga Labs’ release of its Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed apecoin.

Of note: Other investors in the Series A round include True Ventures, Collab+Currency, Flamingo DAO, SV Angel and VaynerFund.

Go deeper