Bankrupt FTX Had Co-Led a $5M Investment Round for NFT Marketplace Joepegs

Bankrupt FTX Had Co-Led a $5M Investment Round for NFT Marketplace Joepegs

The now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX had co-led a $5 million investment round for Joepegs, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace on the Avalanche blockchain. 

According to the marketplace’s co-founders, who go by the pseudonyms Cryptofish and 0xMurloc, Joepegs raised $5 million in a seed round led by FTX Ventures and the Avalanche Foundation.

“The funding from FTX Ventures was completed in June, and have since been transferred out of FTX prior to recent bankruptcy events,” the team said in a statement.

FTX and its associated businesses (FTX US and Alameda Research) filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last week after Binance pulled out of a potential acquisition citing a hole in the defunct crypto exchange company’s books.

While FTX has already collapsed, some of its investments will continue to benefit from financing received before the advent of recent events. JoePegs has emerged as one of the companies that FTX Ventures, the investment arm of FTX, invested in.

The marketplace launched in May and has grown rapidly to the largest NFT marketplace on Avalanche with over $3.4 million in secondary NFT sales and 12,000 users. It also has an in-house production unit, Joe Studios, as well as an NFT Launchpad, which has onboarded over 50 projects to the Avalanche ecosystem, the company said.

The co-founders also founded and remain involved in the operations of Trader Joe, a decentralized exchange on Avalanche (not to be confused with the American supermarket chain), which launched in early July 2021 and has a total trading volume of over $88 billion.

“As we started building this, we realized very quickly that in order to deliver a platform that really helps users discover great NFTs we have to invest in a lot more platform capabilities so that’s what the fundraiser will go toward,” 0xMurloc said. 

“On top of that, we also create a lot of content on our end. We did this at the start to fill a need. Marketplaces are only as good as the content in the ecosystem.”

JoePegs is focused on the operational side of the market, partnering with traders, artists, and projects across the Avalanche ecosystem. Avalanche has grown to become the seventh-largest NFT marketplace by sales volume of more than $400 million according to CruptoSlam data.

Earlier this year, Avalanche dove further into the NFT space after partnering with the largest NFT marketplaceOpenSea, which now operates on the blockchain alongside other platforms like Joepegs and Kalao. With about $408.2 million in total sales, Avalanche is the seventh-largest blockchain by NFT sales volume, CryptoSlam data shows.

“People are focused on what is happening to the greater market,” 0xMurloc said. “Yes, there are fewer people playing with crypto and the NFT market as a whole right now, but, we do see that the interest from creators, brands, and projects to dive deeper into web3 and NFTs — that appetite is not softening.”

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