Pinata raised $21.5M to scale NFT media infrastructure

Pinata, an NFT-focused media distribution platform, has raised a total of $21.5 million in funding, the company exclusively told TechCrunch.

This is the only capital the four-year-old company has raised to date. The total amount came from a recently closed $18 million Series A and $3.5 million seed round in 2021, Kyle Tut, co-founder and CEO of Pinata, said to TechCrunch. The 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, OpenSea and Alchemy.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based business provides media infrastructure and support for NFT marketplaces, metaverses, web3 apps and other crypto projects. It allows users to manage, share and monetize their media on any blockchain like Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, Avalanche and Algorand, to name a few.

“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.”

In the past year, Pinata’s revenue growth has increased 42 times year-over-year, Tut said. Since January, its user base increased about 131% from 104,000 users to over 240,000 users as of today, Tut shared. Companies like OpenSea, DraftKings, Protocol Labs and Yuga Labs also use the platform.

“As you fast forward into today, we’ve seen that ultimately NFTs act as if they’re their own applications,” Tut said. “They want to serve content to millions of people like YouTube or TikTok does, but a lot of these applications don’t have the ability to do so yet.”

The platform provides infrastructure for both emerging creators and enterprises to store, manage and build more functionality into their NFTs, Mike Duboe, partner at Greylock, said in a statement shared with TechCrunch.

“While today’s NFT activity might focus around static jpeg files, we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg for this technology and that the most interesting applications around NFTs involve richer media with deeper functionality,” Duboe said.

Ultimately, Pinata aims to serve content at scale for NFT projects that want to focus on building out media and content, Tut said. The fresh capital will be used to grow the team and improve its infrastructure so 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 associated with NFTs,” Tut said. “NFTs are going to be so much more than people understand today.”

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