United States tech investment firm Coatue Management has marked down the value of its stake in nonfungible token (NFT) platform OpenSea by 90%.
On Nov. 7, The Information reported on a document it reviewed showing that Coatue had reduced its investment from $120 million to $13 million — implying that OpenSea has fallen to an on-paper valuation of $1.4 billion.
Coatue also marked down its investment in Web3 payment provider MoonPay by 90%.
In January 2022, OpenSea raised $300 million in a Series C round led by crypto venture capital firm Paradigm and Coatue. The outsized investment saw the NFT platform valued at $13.3 billion.
Following a stubborn bear market and a year-long slump in NFT trading activity, OpenSea announced a 50% reduction in staff on Nov. 3 as part of its plan to relaunch as OpenSea 2.0.
OpenSea is making some big changes today to focus on the next version of our product.
— Devin Finzer (dfinzer.eth) (@dfinzer) November 3, 2023
OpenSea CEO Devin Fizner said the new version of the platform will focus on upgrading its technology and increasing its speed and quality. To Fizner, a smaller team will allow the platform to remain “nimble and attentive.”
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In August, OpenSea faced criticism after it announced it was retiring its operator filter, a feature that allowed creators to blacklist non-royalties enforcing marketplaces.
Coatue’s markdown comes amid a slump in NFT trading volumes. The sector peaked in 2021, recording over $14 billion in sales during the year. Since then, NFT popularity has been on the decline, with overall trading volumes dropping by 80% since March 2022.
NFT trading volumes grew slightly in October, hinting at a possible trend reversal. Source: DappRadar
A Nov. 3 report from crypto data firm DappRadar found the NFT market recorded its first month of gains in over a year, notching a $99-million increase month-over-month in October.
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