Autograph, a non-fungible token (NFT) platform, is off to quite the start.
Since its release, AfroTech has shared its collections from Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, Tiger Woods, and Usain Bolt, who are all on its board of advisors. Now, the platform — founded by Tom Brady — has started 2022 off with a bang.
The Funding Round
On Jan. 19, Autograph announced the raise of a $170 million Series B funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Kleiner Perkins, Reuters reports. The funding shortly follows after a Series A round co-led by 01A and Velvet Sea Ventures in July 2021.
According to the outlet, alongside the heavyweight firms who invested, former Andreessen Horowitz general partner Katie Haun’s new fund, existing investor 01A, and Nicole Quinn, partner at venture firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, also participated.
The new funding also brought in Haun, a16z’s Arianna Simpson, and Kleiner Perkins’s Ilya Fushman as new members to the board, which includes Autograph co-founder Tom Brady and The Weeknd, according to TechCrunch.
In November 2021, the pop star released his own limited edition NFT collection to celebrate his Billboard hit, “Blinding Lights.”
Osaka released her latest collection, “Resolve: The Naomi Osaka Manga Collection,” on Jan. 20.
AfroTech previously reported that the NFTs were designed by her sister, Mari Osaka, to symbolize five characters who “represent parts of Naomi’s strengths and resolve to excel in the sport of tennis,” including Yōsei, the fairy.
“My sister calls her my guide, almost like my angel,” Osaka wrote via Instagram. “Those were the words that came out of my mother’s mouth when the butterfly landed on me at my match in the 2021 Australian open. Her family believed butterflies to carry the souls of our ancestors, and for sure it was one of them as that monarch butterfly that day.”