OpenSea investor marks down stake in platform by 90%: Report

United States tech investment firm Coatue Management has marked down the value of its stake in non-fungible token (NFT) platform OpenSea by 90%. 

On Nov. 7, The Information reported on a document it reviewed showing Coatue reduced its investment from $120 million to $13 million — implying that OpenSea has fallen to an on-paper valuation of $1.4 billion.

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Coatue also marked down its investment in Web3 payment provider MoonPay by 90%.

In January 2022, OpenSea raised $300 million in a Series C round led by crypto venture capital firm Paradigm and Coatue. The outsized investment saw the NFT platform valued at $13.3 billion.

Following a stubborn bear market and a year-long slump in NFT trading activity, OpenSea announced a 50% reduction in staff in Nov. 3 as part of its plan to relaunch as OpenSea 2.0.

OpenSea CEO Devin Fizner said the new version of the platform will focus on upgrading its technology as well as increasing its speed and quality. To Fizner, a smaller team will allow for the platform to remain “nimble and attentive.”

Related: Elon Musk slams NFTs but ends up arguing the case for Bitcoin Ordinals

In August, OpenSea faced criticism after it announced it was retiring its operator filter, a feature that allowed creators to blacklist non-royalties enforcing marketplaces.

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Coatue’s markdown comes amid a slump in NFT trading volumes. The sector peaked in 2021, recording over $14 billion in sales during the year. Since then, NFT popularity has been on the decline with overall trading volumes dropping by 80% since March 2022.

NFT trading volumes grew slightly in October, hinting at a possible trend reversal. Source: DappRadar

A Nov. 3 report from crypto data firm DappRadar found the NFT market recorded its first month of gains in over a year, notching a $99 million increase month-over-month in October.

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Author: Tom Mitchelhill

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