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eBay Inc. has acquired non-fungible token marketplace startup KnownOrigin Labs Ltd. for an undisclosed price.

Founded in 2020, KnownOrigin pitches itself as an artist-driven NFT platform that makes it easy for creators to authenticate, showcase and sell the digital artwork they produce. The company specializes in rare digital art and collectible NFTs.

KnownOrigin’s marketplace allows artists to sell the work they produce as verified digital assets using blockchain technology to make digital ownership possible. Using the service, artists can digitally sign their artwork by creating a tokenized certificate, enabling them to engage and sell their artwork to a global audience.

According to data from the DappRadar NFT Markaplce tracker, KnownOrigin is the 12th largest NFT marketplace of all time, having traded 5,189 NFTs with a total value of $7.8 million. While 12th largest sounds impressive, it’s a minnow in every sense of the word. The top three providers have sold NFTs worth billions or dollars and others on the list have sold in the hundreds of millions.

eBay is describing the acquisition as an important step in its tech-led reimagination, ushering in a new ear of digital collecting to the world’s top destination for collectibles.

“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,” Jamie Iannone, chief executive officer of eBay, said in a statement. “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.”

The acquisition is not eBay’s first foray into NFTs, with the auction site first allowing users to buy and sell NFTs in May 2021. The company launched its first collection of NFTs in partnership with Web3 platform OneOf in May.

Coming into its acquisition, KnownOrigin has raised $6.22 million, according to Pitchbook. Investors include Cross Culture Ventures, D1Ventures, Genesis Block Ventures, LD Capital and MetaCartel Ventures.

Image: KnownOrigin

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