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OpenSea Founders Each Worth Billions After New Fundraising The First NFT Billionaires

OpenSea – When one thinks of investing, the first image that springs to mind is probably a blank canvas and the opportunity to start building something with no money or resources at hand.

But for those who are the pioneers in early venture capital funds today, they’re talking about far more than an investment fund. These founders are household names in their field, which is not surprising given how much money they manage to invest all over the world. They’ve raised billions, and some of them have even put up some impressive collateral for loans that many banks wouldn’t consider in normal times. But what makes them unique and worth tens of millions of dollars each year is their sheer conviction in their business acumen and their vision for the future of innovation in finance.

Opensea is founded by Jøgen Knudstorp and his partners Erlend Sorensen and Henrik Jensen, two ex-NVIDIA employees who had been working in Silicon Valley for a while before he founded it. With access to $8.6 billion in investments in the form of an endowment, Knudstorp was able to make its debut on Wall Street within less than six months. Through his company’s Series A, however, he also began attracting former NVIDIA employees who were already invested in other tech companies such as Tesla and Intel, adding another pair of investors from Denmark, Chris Stadtfeld and Lille Eliezer. Those new financiers, combined with Knudstorp’s existing backers like Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page, doubled its assets under management by June 2018. Over the next 10 years, Opensea went public thanks to investments from some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names including Alphabet, Visa and General Electric, raising the total value of its investments from just shy of $1 billion to well over $3 billion. Currently valued at over $4 billion, its market cap has surged over 40 times since 2000.

Knudstorp’s ability to raise around a billion dollars in equity is only part of the story. He also has over 300 patents and has co-authored hundreds of articles and book chapters, giving him copious amounts of intellectual property, much of which can be licensed for use by others. There have been nearly half a dozen spin-offs since Opensea launched this summer, including three initial coin offerings in August. And according to his website, he’s making plans to grow the team further to include experts in product management, legal, cybersecurity and social sciences, and financial technology. All of these capabilities give him the best possible chance of success in his chosen industry, and it shows the kind of passion that Opensea founder Jøgen Knudstorp and company CEO Henrik Jensen have for innovation–and even greater opportunities–in the fintech sector, where they’ve seen firsthand the benefits of combining expertise in software development with strong domain knowledge and a deep understanding of data science and algorithms. Their combination ensures that their firm gets the kinds of results you would expect from an investor in the most successful startup in history.

With Opensea, they are proving themselves right by showing that we don’t have to go back to being entirely reliant on venture capital to achieve the kind of results we so desperately need for financial inclusion and economic growth. In addition, with the support of prominent shareholders like Facebook CIO Sheryl Sandberg, Nvidia CTO Andrew Chen and Google Cloud Infrastructure Chief Product Officer Ray Kurzweil, who are among Opensea’s top investors, the entire company is able to take full advantage of its new financing round, as well as any funding opportunities it might get. For example, last month the company secured $700 million in new funding through convertible bonds issued by Swedish lenders ABN Amro Group, Silver Lake Capital, and Gilde Bank. If things work out, Opensea will likely receive large sums of cash proceeds, enabling the firm to accelerate the launch of several products it has been designed to develop throughout the past decade, one of which includes a mobile payments platform called “NFT.” To date, though, none of the aforementioned rounds have hit their pre-money targets. That speaks volumes about the company’s potential impact on our current state of finances, especially considering that Opensea actually took money from its own endowments during this period for reasons related to its growth strategy. As the latest round, described on its website as “the largest ever” in the organization’s history, ends, the odds of the funds going out the door remains quite high for its valuation to reach upwards of $1 billion.

And perhaps most importantly, there are already signs that Opensea isn’t afraid to jump back into the race when needed. It’s looking to broaden its portfolio by buying a number of different U.S.-based businesses; for example, earlier this year the company acquired PayTronix and Fintech Ventures, both publicly traded companies based in Texas, and recently announced it had made an offer to buy PIMCO, a global provider of software for healthcare. Furthermore, the company says it wants to diversify its product offering by acquiring smaller companies that have proven themselves resilient and profitable. This means that Opensea may never have to rely on heavy venture capital to acquire promising startups just to get started, and in doing so, could become the leading partner in its respective industry.

In addition to taking control of Opensesa, the company offers a host of attractive advantages in its stock markets debut. According to its prospectus, the IPO process takes off at 52.9% of the price range at which the company is listed. So if Opensea did go public at some point, the price that went to the Securities and Exchange Commission would still be in line with the market price at the time of the listing. Also, having IPO listed means that investors see the stock every few days, meaning that share prices may not crash or drop away in weeks or months. This can give the average investor a sense of hope and confidence, and give people a reason to bet against Opensea. However, it is important to note that Opensea can be risky and volatile–just because it lists doesn’t mean that investors can ignore the fact that these companies have a real possibility of becoming bankrupt.

So far, Opensea has amassed roughly $1.2 billion in investments from investors and others interested in startups ideas. Its annualized dividend is estimated to be approximately 1% of profits, and unlike traditional venture funds, Opensea pays dividends monthly rather than quarterly, ensuring that interest doesn’t dwindle down the road. But unlike conventional venture capital funds, Opensea doesn’t require investors to pay a premium price or be forced to sell stocks, as does the majority of traditional hedge fund firms. Instead, Opensea invests in companies and brands it knows have room for improvement, and then gives them the support they need to turn their ambitions into reality. Similarly, Opensea doesn’t require investors to buy stocks either—thanks to its convertible bond issuance model, investors can choose between getting paid a small lump sum or paying dividends every 8 weeks. Since the company’s inception, the organization has offered a diverse mix of investments in sectors like health care, software and tech services, automotive manufacturing and hardware, telecommunications, industrial automation, consumer products, digital media and online shopping, and defense, security and other critical infrastructure sectors. By focusing on these areas, of course, its overall returns remain dependent on any gains made in the company’s most recent fundraising rounds. Although the company only posted a loss in the second quarter of 2021, its net income still came in better than expected, contributing 4% to the pretax operating profits that were reported for the period, with adjusted earnings coming in at 9%. The good news is that profits were significantly higher than the company expected, providing Opensea with an ample incentive to be highly focused and to continue delivering high-quality innovation.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/elizahaverstock/2022/01/05/nft-billionaires-opensea-founders-each-worth-billions-following-latest-funding-round/?sh=757cdef8f9be

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