On January 18th, OpenSea announced that it had acquired Dharma Labs for an undisclosed amount. The world’s top NFT marketplace was recently valued at $13.3 billion following its latest funding round.
Sources at the 2017-founded firm told Reuters that deal would help it “dramatically improve the experience of buying, minting, and selling NFTs” on its platform.
Axios reported that the two companies were in talks earlier this month, adding that:
“Deal terms are still being hammered out, with current talk of an all-stock deal valued at between $110 million and $130 million.”
OpenSea to Enable Fiat?
The acquisition will involve a shift at the top. OpenSea stated that its CTO, Alex Atallah, would have a new role managing the firm’s Web3 and NFT ecosystem development. His position will be filled by Dharma Labs Chief Executive Nadav Hollander.
Hollander, who formerly worked for Google and Coinbase, commented that OpenSea grew “practically 1,000x overnight” on the back of the massive explosion in NFT markets in 2021, before adding:
“We now have the historic opportunity to build a truly generational product. I’m excited to focus on scaling OpenSea’s tech to meet the reliability, performance, and uptime benchmarks its users expect and deserve.”
Dharma started out as a DeFi lending app that allowed users to deposit fiat in order to trade tokens on Uniswap. The company is also heavily intertwined with the world’s leading decentralized exchange. It integrated with the DEX in 2020 and holds a massive bag of UNI tokens making it one of the major voting influences in Uniswap’s governance.
Dharma’s app will be retired according to the announcement and it is likely that something similar will be developed by OpenSea to enable users to buy and sell NFTs for fiat in addition to crypto.
NFT Ecosystem Outlook
OpenSea has seen record volumes so far this year and has already eclipsed August 2021, its previous highest month for trading. According to Dune Analytics, OpenSea has notched up $3.8 billion in sales on Ethereum so far this month. The marketplace has recorded 1.4 million NFTs sold since the beginning of the year.
Its active traders count has also hit a record figure this month with 388,843 traders so far. The previous highest month for this metric was December 2021 when there were 362,679 active traders on the platform according to Dune.