Although FTX crashed last week, the announcements for the raise of their venture capital team are still pending.
Joepegs, an NFT marketplace on the Avalanche blockchain, has raised $5 million in a seed round led by the now-defunct FTX Ventures and the Avalanche Foundation, co-founded by the aliases Cryptofish and 0xMurloc, TechCrunch reported.
“Funding from FTX Ventures was completed in June and has since been moved out of FTX prior to the recent bankruptcy events,” the team said in a statement.
The marketplace launched in May and quickly grew to become the largest NFT marketplace on Avalanche with over $3.4 million in secondary NFT sales and 12,000 users. It also has its own production arm, Joe Studios, as well as an NFT launcher that has uploaded more than 50 titles to the Avalanche ecosystem, the company says.
The co-founders also founded and continue to be involved in the operations of Trader Joe, a decentralized exchange on Avalanche (not to be confused with an American supermarket chain) that launched in early July 2021 with a total trading volume of over $88 billion.
“When we started building it, we realized very quickly that in order to create a platform that really helps users discover great NFTs, we need to invest in a lot more of the platform’s capabilities, so that’s what the fundraiser will go to,” said 0xMurloc. “In addition, we also create a lot of content from our side. We did this at the beginning to meet the need. Marketplaces are only as good as the content in the ecosystem.”
According to 0xMurloc, Joepegs is also investing on the operational side beyond Avalanche to partner with various traders, projects and artists “across the ecosystem.” “That’s what we do furiously.”
Earlier this year, Avalanche delved into the NFT space after partnering with the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, which now runs on the blockchain alongside other platforms such as Joepegs and Kalao. With total sales of around $408.2 million, Avalanche is the seventh largest blockchain in terms of NFT sales, according to CryptoSlam data.
“People are focused on what’s happening with the big market,” 0xMurloc said. “Yes, there are fewer people playing with crypto and the NFT market in general right now, but we see that the interest of creators, brands and projects to dive deeper into web3 and NFT – this appetite does not wane.”
There are many companies, creators, and artists who are “seeking to explore this form of commerce and community building,” added 0xMurloc.
“We are very optimistic about the future of NFTs and what it could bring,” said Cryptofish. “The idea that you can have NFT-backed clothing is very optimistic. You see it with Azuki with their skateboards and Nike sneakers, and we want to be at the forefront of NFT innovation with digital and apparel.”
Cryptofish added that as new alternative NFT products emerge, NFT markets will have to adapt to them. “Our vision for NFT marketplaces should eventually be similar to Amazon. At first it was a bookstore, but now they have expanded and sell everything. That’s how I see things going.”
According to 0xMurloc, the team plans to continue working on their own content in the short term, with new collections coming in the near future.
“Long term, we want to move on to different NFT options and explore what Fish mentioned, whether it be fashion, physical goods, or games. We are excited about what lies ahead.”