Ethernity Raises $20 Million to Build a Celebrity NFT Platform

Pat Maio
Pat Maio has held various reporting and editorial management positions over the past 25 years, having specialized in business and government reporting. He has held reporting jobs with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register, Dow Jones News and other newspapers in Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Image courtesy of
Los Angeles-based Ethernity—which is building a blockchain network allowing athletes, entertainers and digital creators to launch their own NFTs and digital trading cards—has raised $20 million in seed funding, it announced Thursday.

Launched last year, Ethernity raised the money from investors including Riot Games creative head Thomas Vu, Fanatics founder Michael Rubin and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as venture firms like Kenetic and blockchain firms like Ripple and Algorand.

The startup’s blockchain-backed platform, called Ethernal Labs, will allow athletes, artists and celebrities to offer their own NFTs, digital collectibles and merchandise, as well as metaverse-integrated experiences and play-to-earn gaming.

Ethernity has already made some headway with its platform. Last year, it teamed with Brazilian soccer legend Pele on an NFT collection, and it also partnered with Authentic Brands Group, which owns Marilyn Monroe’s intellectual property, to launch a collection of NFT artwork inspired by the legendary Hollywood actress. Retailer Toys “R” Us also launched its first NFT collection, featuring mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe, through Ethernity.

“We hope to make Ethernal Labs a provider of gaming, art and media—essentially a studio system or incubator for the world of NFTs and the Web3 creator economy,” Ethernity founder and CEO Nick Rose said in a statement.

Ethernity is far from the only L.A.-based NFT startup that’s recently raised money to give athletes and celebrities a path to the world of digital collectibles: Last month saw music-focused Unblocked raise a $10 million seed round and the Tom Brady-led Autograph haul in $170 million in Series B funding.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

Read moreShow less

Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

Read moreShow less