Brian Roberts, who recently resigned from ride-sharing firm Lyft, has become the first CFO of OpenSea and is charting a course for its initial public offering, according to a Bloomberg report.

Fast facts

  • Roberts, who previously worked at Microsoft and Walmart, is set to step down after a seven-year stint at Lyft. Roberts will, however, continue in an advisory role until June 2022. He played a crucial role in taking the ride-sharing company public in 2019. Now he is planning to use his skills to prepare OpenSea for an IPO.
  • According to Roberts, OpenSea is already profitable, making it an easy decision to list the company. “When you have a company growing as fast as this one, you’d be foolish not to think about it going public,” he said. It “would be well-received in the public market given its growth.”  
  • OpenSea is already in discussion with investors to raise additional funds, the Bloomberg report said. It added that sources familiar with the discussions have reported that investors are looking to pour around US$1 billion in the firm at a valuation of US$12 billion. OpenSea, which is the largest non-fungible tokens marketplace, was valued at US$1.5 billion in its Series B funding round in July. The firm now claims to offer over 80 million NFTs to more than 700,000 users. OpenSea is already backed by marquee investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase and Blockchain Capital.
  • Roberts’ plan for an IPO has irked some OpenSea users. Many were hoping for an OpenSea token airdrop — a common method of raising funds among crypto projects. Some users feel OpenSea ditching an airdrop for an IPO is an abandonment of the very community that helped it grow. However, Roberts said the company doesn’t need more cash, but needs to raise financing for partnerships, acquisitions and joint ventures.