We can no longer ignore NFTs. Non-fungible tokens are now so popular that they can be used for thousands and sometimes even millions of euros. Therefore, it could not be long before the first NFT billionaires appeared. That honor now belongs to Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer, the co-founders of OpenSea.
The gentlemen, both in their early 30s, started the OpenSea NFT market four years ago and are now reaping the benefits. This is how Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer became the first NFT billionaires.
The first NFT billionaires
OpenSea co-founders joined the billionaire club earlier this year after raising new funding from investors. This funding round not only makes his company worth billions, but also Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer.
In this funding round, OpenSea raised an additional $300 million, raising the value of the company by 800% to a staggering $13.3 billion. Since both gentlemen according to Forbes With an 18.5 percent stake in the company, Atallah and Finzer’s net worth will rise to $2.2 billion in one fell swoop.
An impressive amount at the age of 30 and 32 years. How did these early NFT billionaires get to this point?
These are Finzer and Atallah
Devin Finzer grew up in Silicon Valley, attended Brown University, and later worked as a software engineer at Pinterest. He sold his first startup, a search engine called Claimdog, after a year.
Co-founder Alex Atallah grew up in Colorado and attended Stanford. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he started his tech career during his college days in Palantir. Before founding OpenSea, he worked at other startups in Silicon Valley.
The origins of OpenSea
fast forward until 2017, and Atallah and Finzer are joining a start-up incubator. First, the idea is to launch a company that pays cryptocurrency users to share their WiFi hotspots. But CryptoKitties, one of the first NFTs, is changing that. Tech entrepreneurs are fascinated and the idea for OpenSea was born.
OpenSea was one of the early players in the NFT market and has done well due to the popularity of NFTs. But Atallah and Finzer had to persevere for that.
From struggling company to NFT billionaire
When we learned about the coronavirus in March 2020, the OpenSea platform had already been online for 26 months. Unfortunately, with just five employees at the time, the company had only managed to amass 4,000 active users, generating $1.1 million in monthly transactions. Since OpenSea charges a 2.5% commission per NFT sold, you can estimate that the company earned $28,000 per month.
At the time, it was not a lively NFT market. In fact, Rare Bits, OpenSea’s biggest competitor at the time, went bankrupt. OpenSea’s co-founders set themselves a goal: to double their sales by the end of 2020.
Fortunately, that already worked in September, so the two decided to continue. And that’s a good thing, because in 2021 the NFT market exploded. As of July 2021, OpenSea completed $350 million in transactions. It’s already much higher than the 1.1 million a year and a half earlier, but you guessed it; it didn’t stop there. As of August 2021, a total of 3.4 billion transactions were made on the platform.
Today OpenSea has over 70 employees and the company is growing rapidly. So you see: sometimes only perseverance can make the difference.
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