Riding the wave of interest in the market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a startup with support from hedge fund mogul Steve Cohen has closed a $50 million Series A.
Founded by former DRW trader Zach Bruch and licensing expert Trevor George, RECUR is one of a growing number of startups operating in the NFT market where firms like Dapper Labs and OpenSea have achieved unicorn status.
RECUR's raise values the firm at $333 million. Steve Cohen, the founder of hedge fund Point72, is joining RECUR's board and has invested in the company through DIGITAL, an investment vehicle that invests in the so-called Metaverse. Other backers of the firm include CMT Digital, Delphi Ventures, and Gary Vaynerchuk. To date, the firm has raised $55 million.
RECUR plans to leverage the funds to scale its platform, hire for more than 100 roles, and go to market with a newly launched collegiate NFT marketplace, dubbed NFTU.com. The firm has teamed up with CLC, a collegiate trademark firm, and Veritone, the licensing partner of the Pacific 12 Conference, to create NFTs of logos, video clips, and "all sorts of college collectibles," noted Bruch.
The firm is starting with teams in the Pac 12. The firm says it has a number of licensing agreements similar to its deal with Veritone, which justified its hefty valuation, George said.
"Our goal is to give fans the opportunity to own pieces of the stories and IPs they love, with real value retained across any future chain," the firm's founders said in a press release. "Further, we see a future where the standard for a decentralized recurring royalty is embedded, giving the creator due credit as assets are exchanged over and over again."
The firm declined to comment on whether any such agreement has been reached with Cohen's baseball team, the Mets.
A spokeswoman for Point72 confirmed Cohen's investment through the billionaire's family office. Point72 made headlines earlier this year for leading data firm Messari's Series A.
Update: The firm has raised $55 million since inception, not in this round.