Three months after raising $16 million through a seed round led by Paradigm and Founders Fund, NFT music platform Royal has closed another significant round of funding, raising over $55 million from a Series A led by venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz’s crypto investment division, a16z.
Helmed by EDM artist Justin Blau, also known as 3LAU, as well as JD Ross, a co-founder of real estate startup Opendoor, Royal acts a marketplace for users where they can buy NFTs that represent collective ownership in the works of artists. Royal supposedly represents a quite early yet promising step towards a NFT functionality that lies outside of the spheres of gaming and visual arts.
Last month, Blau had given away several hundred NFTs through the Royal platform, which equaled to 50% of his latest song’s streaming rights. The startup reports that they have made approximately $600,000 in secondary sales with those tokens, catapulting 3LAU’s single at $6 million valuation.
Musicians like Blau, who are well-versed with crypto, have reportedly made bank with millions of buyers wanting to diversify their crypto holding through NFTs, all while supporting projects that focus on expanding the opportunities in blockchain market as well.
The round was led by a16z co-lead Katie Haun, a General Partner at Andreesen Horowitz, who is also a board director at Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, and at OpenSea, an NFT marketplace. a16z , had also made investment in Ross’s company Opendoor, and is reported to have a strong relationship with the executive team of Royal.
The round also saw investment from its previous investors Paradigm and Founders Fund, along with CAA and NEA’s Connect Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, and Crush Music. Musical artists including as Nas, Kygo, Logic, and The Chainsmokers also joined the round.
While projects like Royal show an early and promising venture in the NFT space, it is suggested that they have much to explore and work upon in terms advertising opportunities so as to grow alongside artists while following all securities laws.