Highsnobiety

JAY-Z has joined a $19 million Series A funding round for NFT platform Bitski — just one week after he sold the majority stake in TIDAL for $302 million.

Hov isn't the only big name to put money behind the emerging platform. The founders of The Hundreds streetwear brand, Bobby and Ben Hundreds, Roc Nation co-founder Jay Brown, Troy Carter, Serena Williams, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) are also investing in Bitski.

The San Francisco-based startup originally aimed to be the “Venmo for Cryptocurrency” but in 2020 Bitski began focusing on NFTs, shifting to a marketplace for the virtual goods and billing itself as the  “Shopify for NFTs.”

Bitski has a distinctly brand-centric worldview, giving companies like adidas a new way to connect with consumers by way of NFTs. But it's also designed to make it easier for celebrities to bypass the crypto complexity of the early marketplace.

Just last week, for example, Bitski ran an auction of NFTs for Trevor Lawrence, the first pick in the 2021 NFL football Draft. The startup also offers creators a number of subscription plans to help them build custom NFT storefronts that they can sell through as their own channel.

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