eBay has just acquired KnownOrigin NFT marketplace in a move which it said marks the “start of a new chapter”. KnownOrigin’s technology and platform provide artists a place to create unique, authentic, digital collectibles, in the form of NFTs. The global commerce leader that connects millions of sellers and buyers around the world, has christened the deal as its biggest move yet into the world of digital collectibles.
The online auction company is keeping its lips sealed on the deal’s value, but it has confirmed via a press release, that the deal is closed as of June 21st.
KnownOrigin is a Manchester-based NFT marketplace. It was founded in 2018 by Andy Gray, David Moore and James Morgan, who wanted to put together a space where artists and collectors create, buy and resell NFTs. David Moore, co-founder of KnownOrigin, said, “We founded KnownOrigin to empower creators and collectors by giving them the ability to showcase, sell, and collect unique, authenticated digital items.” The company facilitated $7.8 million in trade volume since its launch. In February, KnownOrigin raised £3.5 million ($4.3 million) in Series A round, co-led by crypto venture capital funds GBV and Sanctor Capital.
eBay takes on the NFT world
eBay made its first foray into NFTs as part of its “tech-led reimagining” last year. The feat has resulted in significant upgrades to the company’s technology, performance and customer experience, including tools that make it easier than ever to discover, buy or sell anything. As a part of this, eBay has also let its users to buy and sell NFTs in May 2021. Back then, eBay promised that it would add more capabilities “that bring blockchain-driven collectibles” onto its platform. This May, in partnership with Tezos and web3 platform OneOf, the auction marketplace for everything launched an NFT collection “Genesis”, which is a 3D and animated interpretation of the iconic athletes featured on Sports Illustrated covers. We should expect the company to launch more NFT collections throughout the year.
The acquisition of KnownOrigin is an important step for eBay’s tech-led reimagining, ushering in a new era of digital asset collecting. “eBay is the first stop for people across the globe who are searching for that perfect, hard-to-find, or unique addition to their collection and, with this acquisition, we will remain a leading site as our community is increasingly adding digital collectibles,” said Jamie Iannone, CEO of eBay. The CEO also added, “KnownOrigin has built up an impressive, passionate and loyal group of artists and collectors making them a perfect addition to our community of sellers and buyers. We look forward to welcoming these innovators as they join the eBay community.”
KnownOrigin co-founder David Moore said that the eBay partnership will help to “attract a new wave of NFT creators and collectors.” He also added that “As interest in NFTs continues to grow, we believe now is the perfect time for us to partner with a company that has the reach and experience of eBay.”
The winning bid
eBay says NFTs represent a significant area of growth for its business. This move signals eBay’s continued interest in leveraging cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to improve its operations. In this booming hype and craze of NFTs and metaverse, many brands are getting involved in the NFT crypto space, to use it as a vehicle for expansion and business growth. Over the last few months, hundreds of NFT projects have appeared in the cryptocurrency world, seemingly emulating the multimillion-dollar sales of digital artwork on online markets. The inclusion of NFTs in an established market like eBay, with approximately 187 million active buyers, has the ability to extend the frenzy for even longer.