NFT-focused media distribution platform Pinata has raised a total of $21.5 million in funding, the company exclusively told TechCrunch.
This is the only capital raised by the four-year-old company so far. Pinata co-founder and CEO Kyle Tutt told TechCrunch that the total amount came from the recently closed $18 million Series A and a $3.5 million seed round in 2021. Series A was co-led by Greylock and Pantera, and the seed round was co-led by Greylock and Offline Ventures. Other investors include Volt Capital, OpenC and Alchemy.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based business provides media infrastructure and support for the NFT Marketplace, Metaverse, Web3App, and other crypto projects. It allows users to manage, share and monetize their media on any blockchain such as Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, Avalanche and Algorand.
“We power a significant portion of web3,” Tut said. “Some of the biggest names in the space are using us. Those users range from non-technical creators to software engineers.”
Over the past year, Pinata’s revenue growth has grown 42 times year-over-year, Tut said. Since January, its user base has grown by about 131% from 104,000 users to more than 240,000 users to date, Tut shared. Companies such as OpenSE, DraftKings, Protocol Labs and Yug Labs also use the platform.
“As you fast forward into today, we have seen that eventually NFTs act as if they are applications of their own,” Tut said. “They want to serve content to millions of people like YouTube or TikTok, but a lot of these applications don’t have the capability to do that yet.”
In a statement shared with TechCrunch, Mike Dubo, partner at Greylock, said that the platform provides the infrastructure for both emerging creators and enterprises to store, manage and build more functionality into their NFTs.
“While today’s NFT activity may be centered around static JPEG files, we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg for this technology and the most interesting applications surrounding NFT include rich media, with deep functionality Is.”
Ultimately, Pinata aims to serve large-scale content for NFT projects that want to focus on media and content creation, Tut said. The new capital will be used to grow the team and improve its infrastructure so that it is faster, more stable and able to “power the next generation of NFTs.”
“To us, [the future] Looks like full blown applications, not just simple images or complex applications involving NFTs,” Tut said. “NFTs are going to be a lot more than people today understand.”