Ethernity Raises $20 Million to Build a Celebrity NFT Platform

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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.
Ethernity
Image courtesy of Ethernity.io
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.

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