LA has become somewhat of a hotspot of NFT-related activity over the last year. A long line of NFT platforms have chosen to plant their legs in the sands of Silicon Beach, and investors are taking notice. The latest raise for Santa Monica-based NFT agency Autograph is a surefire sign that the NFT market will remain one of LA’s top tech sectors to watch in 2022.

After launching less than a year ago, Autograph has already managed to grab the attention of a few famous athletes including Simone Biles and Derek Jeter. Now, the company is receiving a fresh injection of capital to support it as it continues to scale. Autograph announced Wednesday that it grabbed $170 million in a Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins.

The latest raise comes less than a year following the company’s Series A. The $35 million round closed last summer and, at the time, valued the company at a cool $735 million, according to PitchBook data.

ALSO IN LAThese 11 LA Tech Companies Raised a Combined $5.1B+ in 2021

Autograph got off the ground last August. The startup was co-founded by superstar quarterback Tom Brady and Whip Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt. In addition to featured collections from Biles and Jeter, the platform offers a wide range of signed collectibles available for sale from the likes of Tony Hawk, Tiger Woods and Naomi Osaka.

Each of the featured athletes on Autograph’s platform can drop a limited number of NFT collectibles across two categories: Premier drops and Signature drops. The primary difference between the two? Exclusivity.

While multiple versions of each collectible are available across each category, Premier drops contain a much higher volume of those available for purchase. Signature drop collectibles on the other hand, include authentic digital signatures. Each signature is completely unique. If there are 200 signed editions of a Tony Hawk collectible, for example, each one of those collectibles will have been individually signed.

Users hoping to access the Autograph platform will first need a DraftKings account. DraftKings primarily operates as a sports betting platform, but the company has recently teamed up with Autograph to facilitate the sale of its digitally signed collectibles.

“Our creative team works very closely with our athlete partners to create an authentic, artistic collection for consumers,” Rosenblatt said in a previous statement. “The speed at which we sold out is a testament to the high-quality and accessibility of the unique product we are offering.”

Waiting rooms for each drop open 30 minutes prior to the scheduled release time so that users can get a chance to join the digital queue.

With the additional capital, the company plans to greatly increase the size of its team. Autograph is now hiring for 40 positions spanning its engineering, marketing and recruiting teams, to name a few.

Written by Jeremy Porr
January 20, 2022Updated: January 20, 2022
Source: https://www.builtinla.com/
Article link: https://www.builtinla.com/2022/01/20/nft-platform-autograph-raises-170m-series-b-tom-brady-hiring
Photo: Shutterstock

The round was led by Borderless Capital with participation from Jump Crypto, Parafi Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Genesis Capital, the Algorand Foundation, and more

MILANJan. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Folks Finance, the leading capital markets protocol for borrowing and lending built on the top of Algorand blockchain, announces the closing of its $3M Seed Funding Round, led by Borderless Capital with participation from Jump Crypto, ParaFi Capital, Coinbase Ventures, OKX Blockdream Ventures, Genesis Capital, the Algorand Foundation and many others.

Folks Finance is the result of extensive research and engineering conducted by Blockchain Italia, a blockchain software house strongly focused on Algorand. The company dedicated its best minds to the project, designing a disruptive economic lending model and introducing unique features such as staking of rewards, safety margins for cryptocurrency pairs, and an innovative liquidity provision system

The Investor Group
Round leader, Borderless Capital is the largest Algorand ecosystem investor and is committed to provide a higher multiple of the invested capital into the Folks.Finance lending pools.

David Garcia, who is CEO and Managing Partner at Borderless Capital as well as an angel investor personally supporting Folks Finance, said:

“We are proud to join Folks Finance as the lead investor in this round. Folks.Finance is a key pillar of the Algorand DeFi ecosystem. The team has done an amazing job developing their protocol and building a network of highly strategic partners, setting them up to hit the ground running at launch. The debut of Folks Finance will enable unprecedented amounts of composability among Algorand DeFi dApps and decentralized communities, empowering projects to actively participate in more inclusive and fair capital markets on-chain “

Alongside Borderless, two mainstay crypto investing firms supporting the Folks Seed Round include Jump Crypto and ParaFi Capital.

Anjan Vinod, VP at ParaFi Capital, an alternative investment firm focused on blockchain and decentralized finance markets, also commented:

As large DeFi users, we see money markets as critical infrastructure for any DeFi ecosystem. We believe Folks Finance is well-positioned to unlock liquidity for a variety of Algorand native assets and become a composable building block. From our first conversation with the Folks Finance team, we noticed how talented Benedetto and team were in designing and building DeFi applications. We are excited to support Folks’ vision in building a scalable money market.”

Folks Finance’s list of seed investors also includes leading venture capital firms such as Coinbase VenturesOKX Blockdream Ventures, Genesis Capital, Youbi Capital, Algorand Foundation, Meld Ventures, Eterna Capital, 0x Ventures, Polymorphic Capital, Valhalla Capital, ZBS Capital, and Gains Associates. Crypto veteran angel investors supporting Folks Finance include David Garcia, CEO of Borderless Capital, and  Calvin Liu, former Strategy Lead at Compound.

Several of the leading DeFi and Financial protocols of the Algorand Ecosystem also joined the seed round including Algomint, Tinyman, StakerDAO, MyAlgo, Venue OnexBackedPrismatic, among others.

Next Steps
Folks Finance is currently in its smart contract security verification phase, after successfully completing a protocol design review, and early this year is planning the official launch for Folks Finance on the Algorand TestNet, along with the release of Folksy Guys, the official NFT collection dedicated to the Folks Finance community. The team will officially publish the research paper for the protocol economic model soon, and it is already working to establish the milestones of version 2.0. Intending to outline community-centric governance, the ASA-token FOLKS will offer its holders participation in protocol decision-making power, an incentive and staking strategy, and much more.

Of the seed round fundraising, Folks Finance CEO Benedetto Biondi commented:

“We are delighted and excited about the outstanding portfolio that we have been onboarding on this investment round. The team’s excellent work has resulted in an innovative design that will make Folks Finance a mainstay in capital markets protocols. We are proud to be supported by the Algorand ecosystem, making us feel part of a strong developing and expanding family. 2022 will be the year of Algorand, and the imminent protocol launch will achieve an important milestone. We are enthusiastic about showing the outputs of a year of hard work behind the scenes.”

Join the Folks Community!
Website: https://folks.finance/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Folks_Finance
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/FolksFinance/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/folksfinance
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FolksFinance-110987081176361
Discord: https://discord.gg/V9JX5zzp5C
Telegram: https://t.me/FolksfinanceOfficial

CONTACT
info@folks.finance

ABOUT FOLKS FINANCE
Folks Finance is the leading algorithmic capital market protocol for lending and borrowing built and operated on top of the Algorand blockchain. Through the lending operations, Folks users can deposit liquidity and start earning a continuous economic return instantly. Through the borrowing operation, the users can request crypto loans by locking deposited funds as collateral. Folks Finance is the result of extensive research and engineering conducted by Blockchain Italia, a blockchain software house strongly focused on Algorand. The protocol innovations include a disruptive economic lending model designed for the soundness and security of the users, and the introduction of unique features such as staking of rewards, safety margins for cryptocurrency pairs, and an innovative liquidity provision system

SOURCE Folks Finance

TAMPA, Fla.Jan. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Pocket Network, incentivizes a global community of independent node operators and service providers to run 22,000+ full nodes as demand across its network measured in API calls (or relays) soars generating $150M+ revenue in the last 30 days. This record growth puts Pocket Network 2nd only to Ethereum, with a total market cap of $385B who generated $1.1Bn revenue in the same 30 day period as shown by on-chain metrics on Token Terminal.

Pocket Network is secured by $320M+ worth of network infrastructure distributed globally across 23 countries. The protocol reduces the risk of service downtime to near zero for any layer 1 blockchains or industry DApps using Pocket Network as work is distributed evenly across thousands of full nodes, which also protects end users’ privacy and significantly bolsters the multichain Web3 revolution that’s underway.

“We are growing rapidly in Europe and North America, which are currently staking the most, but we are extremely excited about the Asia market as more and more retail is starting to learn about Pocket,” said Michael O’Rourke, CEO of Pocket Network.

SOURCE Pocket Network

SAN JOSE, Calif.Jan. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Gameflip today announced their partnership with southeast asian media juggernaut POPS WORLDWIDE, bringing the Gameflip NFT platform to their combined audience of nearly 500M users.  As POPS’ digital payment partner, Gameflip will help enable users to make transactions directly in the POPS app to buy these exciting NFTs.

Gameflip is an innovation focused technology company creating the commerce engine for the Metaverse enabling all ecosystem participants including gamers, creators, brands, and developers to connect, safely conduct commerce and mutually share in the benefits. Gameflip believes that transparent ownership and unrestricted tradability of digital assets is the future.

Gameflip recently launched Gameflip Omni, a full-featured storefront for NFTs that incorporate utility with seamless redemption.The curated storefronts enable top brands and game developers to sell NFTs to their millions of community members. Gameflip Omni enables a simple and safe purchase experience for the mainstream, shielding users from the complexities of blockchain transactions.

Gameflip is tackling the environmental impact of NFTs with the Gameflip Go Green Initiative. Utilizing environmentally friendly and sustainable technology that does not require mining or gas fees within its ecosystem, Gameflip is proud of their greener approach to NFTs.

NFTs are exploding in popularity globally, with over $9B in sales on the Ethereum blockchain in 2021 alone. Total NFT sales are expected to surpass at least $17B by the end of this year with a huge influx of new traders entering the market.

“There are infinite possibilities for how digital assets can be used to enable ownership and authenticity. The Gameflip Omni platform unlocks the full potential of these NFTs as a simple and easy way for the mainstream to buy and sell digital assets,” said JT Nguyen, CEO of Gameflip.

POPS Founder and CEO Esther Nguyen also shared her confidence in the rapid growth of NFTs around the world as well as the potential of POPS NFTs in a recent talk. “From the very beginning, we at POPS have been on a mission to build the largest digital ecosystem of carefully curated content to educate and entertain all ages. The continuous improvement of NFTs marks an exciting time in our industry and makes for a perfect addition and fit for what we’ve built. Now the great digital content produced by POPS and POPS artists can bring value to users in new and groundbreaking ways in the NFT marketplace.”

About Gameflip:

Based in Silicon Valley, USA, Gameflip is an innovation focused technology company creating the commerce engine for the gaming Metaverse. Gameflip is led by serial entrepreneurs and veterans in the technology and gaming industries.

Gameflip Market enables safe marketplace transactions across all gaming digital goods and assets including NFTs, digital collectibles, in-game items, games and gift cards. Proven to be secure and scalable, Gameflip is trusted by a community of 6 million gamers who have safely transacted over $120M in sales.

Gameflip Omni is a full-featured storefront for NFTs that incorporate utility with seamless redemption.The curated storefronts enable top brands and game developers to sell NFTs to their millions of community members. Utilizing a simple purchase and resell blueprint, Gameflip Omni caters to the mainstream and shields them from the complications of blockchain transactions. Gameflip is backed by Bullpen Capital, GoAhead Ventures, Lightbank, and PlayNext. For more information visit Gameflip.com.

About POPS WORLDWIDE:
POPS WORLDWIDE is Southeast Asia’s leading digital entertainment powerhouse with over 14 years track record of innovation, 243 billion lifetime views and over 486 million fans to-date. It is a digital-first, consumer-obsessed and data-driven enterprise.

Founded in 2007, POPS WORLDWIDE works with top brands and creators globally, bringing meaningful digital content to its fans in Southeast Asia, connecting brands and creators with end-users at scale.

POPS curates and offers a diverse library of digital-first content including music, entertainment and edutainment for different age groups and demographics, with a primary focus on children, Gen Z and Millennials across Southeast Asia. Furthermore, POPS brings a unique entertainment experience through concerts, events, shows, festivals and more.

For more information, visit www.popsww.com

SOURCE Gameflip

ATLANTAJan. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — It was late 2019 when CryptoBoxers, the very first boxing video game with an ecosystem in cryptocurrency, based on the blockchain, announced a projected entry date into the gaming market. Then Covid hit, and the world was propelled into an unexpected twelfth round. Cryptocurrency however, emerged from the pandemic, becoming a mainstream force, and CryptoBoxers followed the lead, rising before the referee’s final ten second countdown. Game creator and CEO of Me N Mines Media, Andrew Gilliam, has victoriously announced that CryptoBoxers is now entering the ring of fashion, with a new CryptoBoxers NFT apparel line, in anticipation of the game’s pending release date with newly developed features.

CryptoBoxers has been busy planning, plotting, and partnering with select professional boxers to customize NFT packages to be released as the first in a series of rounds that include NFT apparel.  The first round series includes past champions Michael SpinksLamon Brewster, Poison Junior Jones, Billy WrightMontell GriffinBuster Douglas and female champion boxer Tracy Byrd. Current champions and contenders include Austin Trout, Alexander Frank, Carlos Takam, Helen Joseph, Yoselin Fernandez, Chevelle Hallback, Oxiandia Castillo, Yahu Blackwell, Evander Castillo, Jean Carlos Vargas, WBC Heavyweight Champion Danielle Perkins, and their first NFT referee, the legendary Tony Weeks.

 

Utilizing the latest technology, each boxer sends images to the CryptoBoxers team. The images are then transformed into singular, explosive, alter dimensional patterns and transfixed on to hoodies, long sleeves, and t-shirts. The boxer’s apparel is then linked to them as an opportunity for additional branding in the digital space while tapping into the crypto commodity market. The CryptoBoxers NFT apparel line is already expanding into other areas, while active professional boxers are currently taking their pattern to the ring wearing their NFT wardrobe gear for the fighter’s corner, press conferences and weigh-ins.  Merchandise is currently priced at a 1000% off for a limited time at https://crypto-boxers.myshopify.com/  with the official CryptoBoxers NFT platform set to launch later this year.

Creating revenue streams for embattled athletes was always Andrew Gilliam’s plan when he first envisioned CryptoBoxers in 2018.  A hip hop historian with a background in online marketing, Gilliam has over two decades of experience in his field. “With CryptoBoxers, any professional boxer can secure additional income, whether they are active or non-active, whether they have social media or not. Our vision for the expanded NFT platform is projected to add millions to the sport of boxing outside of the ring while allowing the fans to connect and feel the genuine presence of each boxer,” notes Gilliam.

“We envision this portion of what we can fully offer as a hybrid version of EA Sports. Instead of our company and staff members lining their pockets, we partner first with them, the athlete, then we monetize with them, to create and give them a passive income that increases with minimum involvement. Our NFT apparel is starting with round one. Beyond just game play, revenue is created through every opportunity the digital world allows,” asserts Gilliam.

CryptoBoxers is a diversifying element that will transform the boxing and gaming markets, eventually expanding and evolving beyond boxing to include all combat sports. CryptoBoxers aims to be the leading platform uplifting the community of aspiring combat sports athletes and their fans, empowering people of color and disenfranchised groups. Utilizing advanced tech, innovative business models, plus a more equitable and engaging experience, CryptoBoxers’ championship belt is disrupting the status quo and generating untapped market potential.

Check out the CryptoBoxers promo at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m0PDbTH0Ww.

For ringside tickets, go to https://linktr.ee/cryptoboxers .

Media Contact
jazzmyne Public Relations
323-380-8819
makeda@jazzmynepr.com 
www.jazzmynepr.com

SOURCE CryptoBoxers

DALLASJan. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — MoneyGram International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGI) today announced that the Company has completed a strategic minority investment in Coinme, a leading cryptocurrency cash exchange in the U.S. This venture, which gives the Company an approximate 4% ownership stake in Coinme, closes out Coinme’s Series A financing round and provides MoneyGram with a direct ownership position in one of the first and fastest growing cryptocurrency companies in the world.

“At MoneyGram, we continue to be bullish on the vast opportunities that exist in the ever-growing world of cryptocurrency and our ability to operate as a compliant bridge to connect digital assets to local fiat currency. Our investment in Coinme further strengthens our partnership and compliments our shared vision to expand access to digital assets and cryptocurrencies,” said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO. “Our unique cash-to-bitcoin offering with Coinme, announced in May of 2021, opened our business to an entirely new customer segment, and we couldn’t be more pleased with our progress. As we accelerate our innovation efforts, partnerships with startups like Coinme will further our position as the industry leader in the utilization of blockchain and similar technologies.”

MoneyGram announced its original partnership with Coinme in May 2021 to create a crypto-to-cash model by building a bridge to connect bitcoin to local fiat currency. The partnership further expanded access to bitcoin by creating thousands of new point-of-sale locations to buy and sell bitcoin. MoneyGram and Coinme have additional initiatives in the pipeline that are expected to continue to increase the value of the partnership.

“We see this as an incredible opportunity to continue our strong growth and build on our leading presence in the world of crypto,” said Neil Bergquist, Coinme CEO. “With MoneyGram’s global network and infrastructure, both the Company’s continued partnership and strategic investment will help us accelerate our growth and international expansion.”

Coinme was founded in 2014 and currently operates in 48 states with plans to expand internationally in the near future. In November of 2021, Coinme was selected as a Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winner and named the 78th fastest growing technology company in North America.

Holmes concluded: “We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Coinme, and this strategic investment will further support our growth strategy with strong financial upside.”

About MoneyGram International, Inc.
MoneyGram is leading the evolution of digital P2P payments. With a purpose-driven strategy to mobilize the movement of money, a strong culture of fintech innovation, and leading customer-centric capabilities, MoneyGram has grown to serve nearly 150 million people around the world over the last five years.

The Company leverages its modern, mobile, and API-driven platform and collaborates with the world’s leading brands to serve consumers through MoneyGram Online (MGO), its direct-to-consumer digital business, its global retail network and its emerging embedded finance business for enterprise customers, MoneyGram as a Service.

For more information, please visit ir.moneygram.com and follow @MoneyGram.

About Coinme Inc.
Coinme operates a leading licensed cryptocurrency cash exchange in the U.S., founded in 2014 with a mission to be the world’s most trusted gateway to digital currencies and a better financial future. Through partnerships with Coinstar and MoneyGram, Coinme enables thousands of physical locations in 48 states to facilitate the cash purchase and sale of bitcoin. The company offers an enterprise-grade API helping to “crypto-enable” legacy financial systems and a vertically integrated suite of consumer products providing a simple, trusted and affordable way to buy, sell, store and manage digital currencies. For more information, visit www.coinme.com.

MoneyGram Media Contact
Sydney Schoolfield
media@moneygram.com

Coinme Media Contact
Micah Gibson
micah.gibson@coinme.com

SOURCE MoneyGram

DENVERDec. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NFTglee has partnered with John Salley in a meaningful move to own the rights, distribution, and ongoing value creation associated with his content and brand.

John Salley and NFTglee will launch The SPRK Network, built exclusively on Bitcoin, to unlock the freedom rights that have been taken by media conglomerates for decades. Celebrity tokens will now be associated with the ‘NIL’ (name, image, likeness) rights rather than unfair and upside down contracts pilfered by Hollywood for far too long.

John Salley and Bitcoin

“Bitcoin is freedom. In consistently searching for avenues to empower myself, and all of my friends, I’ve come to the conclusion that true ownership of our work is a must. Non- fungible tokens built on Bitcoin is the foundation of that opportunity.”

“Instead of intermediaries and entertainment industry roadblocks, I’ve found the key that unlocks the direct to consumer media and content model. The technology provides incredible upside and value to both the consumer and the creator – and more and more of us creators are beginning to see it.”

“I’m so excited to be a first mover in taking back what is ours… our work, our content, our names, ownership. And again, Bitcoin provides the rails by which we can connect directly with the public. I can’t wait to show everybody what’s to come!” – John Salley, 4- Time NBA Champion, Media Personality, and Wellness Advocate.

Name, Image, and Likeness NFT’s Surge

NFTglee’s newly hired President of Media and Entertainment, Jonah Hart, agrees with the explosion in NFT’s associated with content and media across the industry.

“The value proposition for the artist and their fans is unprecedented. I believe 2022 will prove to be a wave of mass adoption of NFT’s across the music and creator economy that will have labels and brands scrambling to keep up. The ability for artists to go directly to consumers with a remarkably better value proposition is powerful. John Salley and his network are on the cutting edge here, but we believe (and are already seeing) a wave of those like him ready to follow in his footsteps.”

The SPRK Network ‘Effect’ And Bitcoin

Building on Bitcoin continues to grab mindshare within celebrity and influencer communities. The Spark Network will capitalize on John Salley’s considerable talents; but also his ability to walk his celebrity colleagues through a narrative that allows them to be set free from the captivity of media conglomerates that do not have the artists best interest in mind.

The SPRK Network — which will be launched along with John’s partners, Greg RomanoRoss Mark, and Dr. Dan Ratner — is the first of its kind: a new streaming network that will be built exclusively on Bitcoin, to unlock the freedom rights that have been taken by media conglomerates for decades. Celebrity tokens will now be associated with the ‘NIL’ (name, image, likeness) rights rather than unfair and upside down contracts pilfered by Hollywood for far too long. SPRK Network launches on 2/22/22 and will include channels on mind body wellness, sports, cryptocurrency, education, documentaries, comedy specials, and original shows and movies.

“The SPRK Network is about making a one to one connection with consumers and fans unlike anything that has been done in media. The artist is in complete control of their work, their revenue, and the ways in which they engage with consumers. The shackles are being removed here, and it’s so exciting.” – John Salley, 4-Time NBA Champion, Media Personality, and Wellness Advocate.

Specifically, The SPRK Network will issue NFT tokens directly to consumers that will give those individuals direct and unprecedented access to celebrities, artists, creators and their content. Podcasts, AMA’s, reality tv series, concerts, appearances, experiences, and events – all facilitated by The SPRK Network token and series of tokens.

“We are passionate about giving creators and artists of every genre access to all of their value. No more friction, middle men, or inflated costs. In many ways this is the real world application of ‘Bitcoin fixes this’ – a well known phrase in the Bitcoin community. We are thrilled to have partnered with John Salley, whose been a voice of economic freedom in many areas.”

“We remain so impressed by his enthusiasm and energy to unlock incredible opportunities for his friends and colleagues across media and entertainment. 2022 is going to be a big year for NFT’s built on Bitcoin.” – Tillman Holloway, CEO NFTglee.

About John Salley: A proud native of Brooklyn, New York, John found a love for basketball at an early age. He accepted a Basketball Scholarship to Georgia Tech to play for legendary head coach Bobby Cremins. He went on to great success in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, and Los Angeles Lakers. After he hung up his NBA sneakers Mr. Salley went on to media success via

The Best Damn Sports Show Period and E! Entertainment. Mr. Salley is passionate about health and wellness and practices a vegan lifestyle and is known as an accomplished Chef.

About NFTglee: NFTglee specializes in partnerships and collaborations with artists, unique personalities, social media influencers and brands to bring exclusive NFT collections, built on the Bitcoin blockchain, of limited edition, high quality digital and physical art to market.

NFTglee’s NFT collections are exclusive to our platform and available through our partners. We believe in the value-driven model of digital access paired with luxury goods, experiences and physical possessions – as much as we value digital access as a stand alone.

About SPRK Network: The SPRK Network is a new streaming network with its main mission being to promote real and meaningful change in the world, whether it comes in the form of financial freedom, mental health awareness and advocacy, or content that gives the creator their full voice and control over their projects. The SPRK Network was formed by John Salley, along with his partners, Greg Romano (TV and film producer/ editor/graphics designer), Ross Mark (long time producer for The Tonight Show), and Dr. Dan Ratner (internationally known chronic pain and symptoms expert).

Website: https://www.nftglee.com

For All Inquiries:
Mark Gilbert, Magellan Financial. Mgilbert@magellanfin.com 
(317) 361-2392

SOURCE NFTglee

NEW YORK, Dec.  28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Tech-focused holding company Multiply Group (“Multiply”) and CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II (NYSE: PRPB) (“CC Neuberger”), a special-purpose acquisition company sponsored by CC Capital and Neuberger Berman, today announced the signing of a binding commitment for Multiply to make an additional $75 million PIPE investment, on the same terms as the existing PIPE investors, in CC Neuberger’s business combination (the “Business Combination”) with Getty Images (or the “Company”), a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace.

As previously announced, upon closing of the transaction between Getty Images and CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II, a newly formed parent company of Getty Images will become a publicly traded company, and its common stock is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “GETY.” The closing of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2022.

The Business Combination values Getty Images at an enterprise value of $4.8 billion. The incremental PIPE from Multiply increases total capital commitments to $875 million with an expected total equity investment of approximately $1.3 billion raised in the transaction. Proceeds are expected to pay down existing Getty Images debt and conservatively capitalize the Company’s balance sheet with a net leverage ratio of approximately 3.2x 2022E Adjusted EBITDA of $315 million.

Samia Bouazza, CEO and Managing Director of Multiply Group, said: “We regard Getty Images as a clear global leader in visual content with substantial recurring subscription revenues and high growth potential amid continued digital disruption, and this investment is a key step in our pursuit of strategic investments that create technological synergies across our portfolio. This is a great opportunity to invest in Getty Images prior to its expected listing on the New York Stock Exchange, alongside the CC Neuberger team, a partner with a strong vision and impressive track record.”

Chinh Chu, CEO and Director of CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II, said: “We are pleased to welcome Multiply Group as a major investor as we progress toward completing CC Neuberger’s business combination with Getty Images. Multiply Group will be a valuable long-term partner to our investor base, and they share our vision for the future growth and opportunities at Getty Images.”

Craig Peters, CEO of Getty Images, said: “We value the commitment from Multiply Group and look forward to their long-term investment support for our next phase of growth. Becoming a publicly listed company is the next step in the continued evolution of our business and enables us to build on our momentum as we enable more and more businesses to connect and compete in an increasingly visual world.”

Getty Images complements Multiply Group’s existing investments in fast-growing, global tech-centric businesses, which include digital marketing firms Firefly and Yieldmo. Multiply Group recently raised AED 3.1 billion in a private placement ahead of its listing on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange on December 5, 2021.

Additional information about the PIPE investment by Multiply Group will be provided in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and available at www.sec.gov.

About Multiply Group

Multiply Group (formerly known as Multiply Marketing Consultancy) is an Abu Dhabi-based holding company investing in and growing, organically and inorganically, a diversified portfolio of high-return businesses, both in the UAE and abroad.

With a forward-thinking outlook, Multiply Group continues to expand by organically growing existing businesses, acquiring innovative solutions, creating platforms that empower companies to be more scalable and efficient, and infusing their growth mindset culture into their subsidiaries. In terms of inorganic growth, Multiply Group pursues disruptive, tech-driven and scalable acquisitions, with rapid growth potential, particularly focusing on the digital economy.

Multiply Group’s investments span many industries including businesses such as Emirates Driving Company, Omorfia Group, Viola Communications, Firefly and Yieldmo.

Major shareholders of Multiply Group include International Holding Company (IHC), one of the fastest growing and most valuable companies in the UAE.

About CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II

CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II is a special purpose acquisition company that completed its initial public offering in July 2020, raising $828 million in proceeds. Formed and led by Chinh E. ChuDouglas NewtonJason K. GiordanoMatthew SkurbeCharles Kantor and other senior professionals of CC Capital and Neuberger Berman, CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II is a blank check company formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses.

About Getty Images

Getty Images is a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace that offers a full range of content solutions to meet the needs of any customer around the globe, no matter their size. Through its Getty Images, iStock and Unsplash brands, websites and APIs, Getty Images serves over 1 million customers in almost every country in the world and is the first-place people turn to discover, purchase and share powerful visual content from the world’s best photographers and videographers. Getty Images works with over 450,000 contributors and more than 300 content partners to deliver this powerful and comprehensive content. Each year Getty Images covers more than 160,000 news, sport and entertainment events providing depth and breadth of coverage that is unmatched. Getty Images maintains one of the largest and best privately-owned photographic archives in the world with over 135 million images dating back to the beginning of photography.

Media Contacts

CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II

CC Capital
Jon KeehnerTim Ragones and Erik Carlson
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
215-355-4449

Neuberger Berman
Alex Samuelson
Alexander.samuelson@nb.com
212-476-5392 

Getty Images
Anne Flanagan
Anne.flanagan@gettyimages.com

Additional Information about the Transactions and Where to Find It

In connection with the Business Combination between Griffey Global Holdings, Inc. (“Getty Images”), CC Neuberger, Vector Holding, LLC (“New CCNB”) and the other parties to the Business Combination Agreement, dated December 9, 2021 (the “Business Combination Agreement”), New CCNB intends to file a registration statement on Form S-4 (as may be amended from time to time, the “Registration Statement”) that includes a preliminary proxy statement and a preliminary prospectus of New CCNB, and after the Registration Statement is declared effective, New CCNB will mail a definitive proxy statement/prospectus relating to the Business Combination to CCNB’s shareholders. The Registration Statement is not yet effective. The Registration Statement, including the proxy statement/prospectus contained therein, when it is declared effective by the SEC, will contain important information about the Business Combination and the other matters to be voted upon at a meeting of CCNB’s shareholders to be held to approve the Business Combination (and related matters). This press release does not contain all the information that should be considered concerning the Business Combination and other matters and is not intended to provide the basis for any investment decision or any other decision in respect of such matters. New CCNB and CCNB may also file other documents regarding this Business Combination with the SEC regarding the Business Combination. CCNB shareholders and other interested persons are advised to read, when available, the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus and the amendments thereto and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed in connection with the Business Combination, as these materials will contain important information about New CCNB, CCNB, Getty Images and the Business Combination.

When available, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials for the Business Combination will be mailed to CCNB shareholders as of a record date to be established for voting on the Business Combination. Shareholders will also be able to obtain copies of the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed or that will be filed with the SEC by CCNB through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov, or by directing a request to CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II, 200 Park Avenue, 58th Floor, New York, New York 10166.

Participants in the Solicitation

CCNB, Getty Images and their respective directors and officers may be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies of CCNB shareholders in connection with the Business Combination. CCNB shareholders and other interested persons may obtain, without charge, more detailed information regarding the directors and officers of CCNB and a description of their interests in CCNB is contained in CCNB’s final prospectus related to its initial public offering, dated July 30 2020 and in CCNB’s and New CCNB’s subsequent filings with the SEC. Information regarding the persons who may, under SEC rules, be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies to CCNB shareholders in connection with the Business Combination and other matters to be voted upon at the Shareholder Meeting will be set forth in the Registration Statement for the Business Combination when available. Additional information regarding the interests of participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the Business Combination will be included in the Registration Statement that CCNB intends to file with the SEC. You may obtain free copies of these documents as described in the preceding paragraph.

Forward Looking Statements

This communication may contain a number of “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include information concerning CCNB’s or Getty Images’ possible or assumed future results of operations, business strategies, debt levels, competitive position, industry environment, potential growth opportunities and the effects of regulation, including whether the Business Combination will generate returns for shareholders. These forward-looking statements are based on CCNB’s or Getty Images’ management’s current expectations, estimates, projections and beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions concerning future events. When used in this communication, the words “estimates,” “projected,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “forecasts,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “future,” “propose” and variations of these words or similar expressions (or the negative versions of such words or expressions) are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions or results, and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside Getty Images’ or CCNB’s management’s control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors include, but are not limited to: (a) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of negotiations and any subsequent definitive agreements with respect to the Business Combination; (b) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against CCNB, the combined company or others following the announcement of the Business Combination and any definitive agreements with respect thereto; (c) the inability to complete the Business Combination due to the failure to obtain approval of the shareholders of CCNB, to obtain financing to complete the Business Combination or to satisfy other conditions to closing; (d) changes to the proposed structure of the Business Combination that may be required or appropriate as a result of applicable laws or regulations or as a condition to obtaining regulatory approval of the Business Combination; (e) the ability to meet the applicable stock exchange listing standards following the consummation of the Business Combination; (f) the inability to complete the private placement transactions contemplated by the Business Combination Agreement and related agreements and the transactions contemplated by the forward purchase agreement or backstop agreement or close the sale of the forward purchase securities or backstop securities, as applicable; (g) the risk that the Business Combination disrupts current plans and operations of Getty Images or its subsidiaries as a result of the announcement and consummation of the transactions described herein; (h) the ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the Business Combination, which may be affected by, among other things, competition, the ability of the combined company to grow and manage growth profitably, maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain its management and key employees; (i) costs related to the Business Combination; (j) changes in applicable laws or regulations, including legal or regulatory developments (such as the SEC’s statement on accounting and reporting considerations for warrants in special purpose acquisition companies) which could result in the need for CCNB to restate its historical financial statements and cause unforeseen delays in the timing of the Business Combination and negatively impact the trading price of CCNB’s securities and the attractiveness of the Business Combination to investors; (k) the possibility that Getty Images may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors; (l) Getty Images’ estimates of expenses and profitability and (m) other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the final prospectus of CCNB, including those under “Risk Factors” therein, and other documents filed or to be filed with the SEC by CCNB. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Getty Images and CCNB assume no obligation and, except as required by law, do not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Neither Getty Images nor CCNB gives any assurance that either Getty Images or CCNB will achieve its expectations.

Disclaimer

This communication relates to a proposed business combination between Getty Images and CCNB. This document does not constitute an offer to sell or exchange, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or exchange, any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, sale or exchange would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

SOURCE CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II

CHICAGODec. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Stacked, a crypto-investing software that allows users to manage assets and invest in pre-built portfolios and strategies, today announced that it has raised a $35 million Series A funding round led by Alameda Research, a core partner of FTX, and Mirana Ventures, venture partner of Bybit and BitDAO, to double its 40-person team and build out its suite of retail-friendly crypto portfolios and automated lending products.

 

The oversubscribed funding round also included investors such as, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures (FISV), a dedicated venture capital team within Fidelity International set up to invest in fintech; DRW Venture Capital; Alumni Ventures and Jump Capital.

“We’re moving beyond just a ‘cool crypto portfolio manager’ to a true, regulated digital asset wealth advisor,” said Joel Birch, Co-Founder and CEO, Stacked. “Trading crypto isn’t a great experience for the average person, and most people have no idea what to invest in. Imagine simply taking a risk assessment and having an automatically-managed portfolio created for you instantly. Investors need more passive tools, and Stacked is bringing that to them.”

The company will release curated risk-adjusted portfolios for non-accredited investors early next year, which will make this the first product of its kind on the market.

“Since we began investing in Stacked over a year ago, the team has proven they have the ability to provide a unique and simple investment experience for retail investors. The ability to give users some guardrails when building a portfolio, while also allowing that user to custody funds on their preferred exchange is something investors really need. Now with this added focus on regulation, Stacked is in the best position to own the passive investment market in crypto,” said Brian Lee, Partner, Alameda Research Ventures.

Within a few months of Stacked launching in April 2020, it was already generating a few-hundred million dollars per month in market order volume from a few thousand users. The company, which has now raised total funding of about $40 million since its launch last year, has automated over $10 billion worth of transactions for tens of thousands of new investors so far in 2021.

“Stacked is in a perfect position to not only capture the automated crypto trading demand but also be the first to truly offer curated investment products to crypto users,” said David Toh, Partner, Mirana Ventures.

Using the company’s platform, users can access pre-built stacks from leading hedge funds, indices and top asset managers and get investment advice based on their financial goals.

Today, over $100 million in user funds are connected to Stacked’s smart portfolio manager, with the goal of growing assets under management (AUM) to more than $1 billion in 2022. The company says experienced and new traders alike can easily put their portfolio on autopilot by connecting their favorite crypto exchange to Stacked.

Since receiving approval from the SEC to operate as an RIA, Stacked is now one of the only crypto native companies registered with federal and/or state regulatory agencies to provide investment advice.

“We registered with the SEC so that we could truly provide the easiest and safest way to have risk-appropriate investment exposure to crypto, in just a few minutes, with no prior experience,” says Stephen Beavis, Co-Founder and COO, Stacked.

Today, Stacked is a web-based application with plans to go fully mobile within six months. In 2022, the company plans to grow its 40-person team to over 100 employees.

The company’s Chief Revenue Officer, Alan Eschweiler, added, “It’s no accident that two of the largest exchanges in the crypto space co-lead this investment round. These exchanges, and others, have been key partners of ours since day one, introducing their users to more automated tools for investing. We’re excited to add fuel to the explosive growth the company has experienced in 2021.”

The other investors in the Series A round also included previous seed round lead Motivate Ventures; in addition to CoinFund; Starting Line; Avon Ventures; Linkpad Fund; Chicago Trading Capital; Hyde Park Angels; Bitstamp; Cadenza Ventures; Launch Code Capital; CEO and Founder of M1 Finance, Brian Barnes; and several notable individual investors.

To learn more about Stacked, visit stackedinvest.com and follow on Twitter @StackedCrypto.

About Stacked

Stacked is a crypto investment and asset management platform that connects to exchange accounts and allows users to instantly access vetted trading strategies and investment portfolios. Pre-built stacks are designed to give users instant access to pre-built portfolios modeled after some of the most popular crypto indexes, hedge funds and other investor portfolios.

Founded in 2020 to simplify trading strategy for users without any technical experience, Stacked has a growing offering of automated investment products.

Stacked supports all major exchanges and is one of the few crypto native companies licensed as a registered investment advisor (RIA).

SOURCE Stacked

SINGAPOREDec. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As part of a massive product and brand overhaul, L2 Labs, the team behind ZKSwap, has announced the launch of the new comprehensive ZKSpace platform on December 20th. The platform will host an upgraded Layer 2 AMM DEX ZK-Rollups ZKSwap v3.0, an NFT minting center and marketplace called ZKSea, and payment services, ZKSquare.

The upgrade will coincide with the official shutting down of ZKSwap v1.0 and the original PoG consensus mechanism in due time.

ZKSpace – A Full-Featured Layer2 Platform

The all-new ZKSpace platform is comprised of three main parts: ZKSwap, ZKSquare, and ZKSea, with an all-new-look user interface, NFT support, unlimited token listing, smoother withdrawal, optimized efficiency, and multi-chain support.

Moving forward, the formula underpinning the innovative Layer 2 AMM DEX utilizing ZK-Rollups technology will feature an important change that enables more flexibility for users. When trading with stablecoins, ZKSwap v3.0 resembles the original Curve V1.0 model, but when trading between non-stablecoins, ZKSwap v3.0 will allow for adjustable-price ranges. This means users will be able to choose at which price range to lock in LPs, and in turn, avoid excess slippage for trades that drain liquidity from those ranges. Building from the Uniswap v3.0 model, ZKSwap v3.0 does this by using ERC721 LP tokens and an ‘internal oracle re-pegging mechanism’.

With the intention of providing a standard for Layer 2 NFTs, users on ZKSpace can create, mint, buy, and sell NFTs via ZKSea. This will be an important step moving forward as gas prices are inhibiting the growth of the Layer 1 NFT marketplace and raising the barrier to entry for new users. In addition, the protocol will also feature NFT Transaction Mining and NFT Liquidity Mining which will enable users to retrieve the locked liquidity of their NFT assets and gain in a percentage of transaction fees paid by other users.

Compared with the testnet, ZKSpace adds several interesting new features to its NFT product, including Likes, Collects, Add Tags/Attributes, Share to Facebook/Twitter, etc.

About ZKSwap v1.0 & Proof of Gas Mining (PoG)

After initially launching in February 2021, the innovative ZKSwap gas fee mining model served hundreds of thousands of users across its 10-month lifespan. The model allowed protocol users to enjoy zero-gas fast transactions and meant more people could try out and work with Layer 2 technologies. During this period, thousands of ETH in gas were spared at the cost of more than $10 million, providing millions as profits to users mining gas fees on the platform. This innovation was unprecedented for Layer 2 platforms and one of the key defining qualities of ZKSwap in the beginning.

With the launch of ZKSpace, the team has made the decision to stop ZKSwap v1.0 and PoG mining in due time. This means Layer 2 transactions will now incur gas fees, but these will remain low at around 1/10th of those required for Layer 1 transitions as the platform will subsidize a percentage of the fee.

After the PoG mining contract stops producing ZKS, users’ assets in the smart contract will still remain intact and can be withdrawn at any time. Of the remaining ZKS to be distributed by the PoG smart contract, this will be mined via other methods to incentivize the further development of the Layer 2 ecosystem.

Stay Tuned

With more updates to be announced in the coming days and weeks, stay tuned to @ZKSpaceOfficial on Twitter or join the official Telegram group chat for further details about ZKSpace.

SOURCE L2 Labs Foundation