Nonfungible token (NFT) infrastructure startup Rarify has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Pantera Capital at a valuation of $100 million.
The backing from Pantera Capital appears significant, as the company is one of the top venture capital firms in crypto.
One of Rarify’s primary offerings is an NFT commerce-focused application programming interface (APIs) that enables firms to launch and integrate user-friendly marketplaces in their platforms. The API also allows minting and porting NFTs between different blockchains.
Speaking with Forbes on Thursday, Rarify cofounder Revas Tsivtsivadze stated that the company aims to simplify NFT buying and selling similarly to “how Square made it super easy to accept payments.”
Tsivtsivadze highlighted the check-out process of marketplaces such as OpenSea, which he argued has something “like a 14-step process” that could be cut down to as little as three steps.
The latest funding round also adds to a $2 million seed round from late last year that included participation from Pareto, Eniac Ventures and Protocol Labs, to name a few. The firm intends to use the funds to scale up its employee count and launch new products with its partners.
The company currently provides NFT embedding services that enable owners of websites such as blogs or stores to integrate simplistic NFT buying and selling features. Rarify is also working on a data API that can track NFTs across multiple blockchains, verify a user’s NFT profile picture and gauge the value of specific NFTs.
The show of faith in a new NFT firm comes amid a difficult time for the sector. Cointelegraph reported on Thursday that the number of unique NFT buyers on secondary markets had dipped 12% in February, while NFT search volume on Google has dropped around 60-70% since late January.
However, it may be a brief blip in the market as the focus of late has been shifted to the use cases of cryptocurrencies concerning the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Rarify has also directly been hampered by the situation. Tsivtsivadze told Forbes that four of its total 14 employees are currently based in Ukraine, including the head of engineering and chief technology officer.
He said they are located in “two of the hot spots” in Kyiv and Kharkiv, but has maintained communication with them throughout.