Crypto markets have experienced a continued downdraft, with the nascent space’s
$860 billion of its value over the past three months.slashing
Ethereum has declined 64.97% in the same time frame, per crypto research firm Messari, along with major altcoins like Solana and Polygon off more than 85% from their all-time highs. The global crypto market cap notched an 18-month low under $1 trillion last week.
Solana, Polygon, and Ethereum are all used to mint and purchase NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. The value of these blockchain-based collectibles, therefore, have taken hits as well. The floor price, or the lowest price paid, for NFTs in a collection like Bored Ape Yacht Club has declined by 49.72% in the past month, per data from nftpricefloor.com. Collectors, who include the likes of Justin Bieber and Post Malone, paid a minimum of $429,000 worth of ether for the avatars at their peak, but these prices have fallen as low as $94,455.
VC interest, however, has continued with Solana-based NFT marketplace Magic Eden announcing a $130 million Series B round on Tuesday.
Sagar Barvaliya, a principal at blockchain investment firm Blockrocket, recommends founders take a “sustainable and realistic approach” to monetizing their NFT ventures.
In bull markets, Barvaliya says, there is so much hype in the space that founders may set their expectations too high or set an unrealistic price point for their rounds and valuations, instead of considering how risk-averse larger institutions and funds may be. In March, NFT creator Yuga Labs announced a $450 million seed round at a $4 billion valuation. The average seed round, however, is $1 – $4 million, per data from Finmark.
“Don’t come up with a moonshot valuation,” Barvaliya said on a panel at the NFT.NYC conference on Tuesday. “If you’re an NFT founder or if you’re building in the crypto space, I think we just have to create that kind of attitude.”
Amro Shihadah, an
and co-managing director at Blocktricity Capital, said he invests in specifically what he refers to as “high-impact, low-ego” founders. His previous investments include Oculus, Apptek, and LinkLabs.
“If you look at any startup, if you look at any company, you will find that nine out of ten that don’t succeed, have CEOs who only have vision and no ability to execute,” Shihadah said.
The market for NFTs is incredibly saturated, per crypto angel investor and Meta product manager Harish Komaragiri, leaving most projects to die off during the crypto winter. He says initial NFT sales for a collection are used as a “funding vehicle” for projects and that airdrops may alternatively be a better way for securing capital.
“There are going to be people who try and fail, who will just take your money and bounce,” he said, adding, “but that’s where the project’s team and the community really matters.”