Atlanta startup MomentRanks is seizing a piece of the NFT market, adding another cryptocurrency company to the city’s ranks.
NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are the latest trend emerging in the growing crypto industry. NFTs use blockchain technology to produce unique digital products that people can buy or trade with cryptocurrency.
The tokens are mostly used for buying or selling digital art. For example, a person may buy a NFT of a digital drawing from a favorite artist. That NFT serves as a type of letter of authenticity for the piece, showing that it’s an original work.
MomentRanks is focused on NBA Top Shot NFTs, which are short video clips of a moment in a professional basketball game — a modernized version of trading sports cards.
Dapper Labs, a venture-backed NFT company from Canada, creates the NBA Top Shot moments, which are certified by the NBA. Dapper Labs is the only platform that also facilitates trading these moments.
MomentRanks helps collectors track, appraise and analyze each NBA Top Shot moment and connect with a community of fellow enthusiasts. Danny Adkins and Will Hay founded the company in February and raised a $1.7 million seed round to spur its growth.
Dapper Labs, Boston Seed Capital, Permit Ventures Azure Capital and other angel investors participated in the round.
Adkins and Hay, both Georgia natives, became interested in cryptocurrency during high school. In college, both founders interned at Atlanta’ BitPay, the largest global blockchain payments provider.
“Not everyone has equal access to money or the internet, but I saw this type of technology paving the way for that one day,” Adkins said.
MomentRanks co-founder Danny Adkins.
Cryptocurrency is often cited as a tool to make payments between different countries easier and provide financial access and safeguards to people who may reside in countries with unstable currencies. For example, Yellow Card, another Atlanta startup, brings cryptocurrency to African countries in an effort to foster financial inclusion and literacy.
The founders saw NFTs as a gateway into the cryptocurrency market for consumers who may not be familiar with blockchain technology. NFTs are bought and sold using cryptocurrency, so more participation in NFT trading means more fuel for the crypto market.
“It incentivizes users and large institutions to get behind crypto,” Adkins said.
Adkins built MomentRanks during his last semester at Brown University. Now, he’s focusing on the startup full time.
The first step with the seed funding has been growing his team, which is at 10 people, Adkins said. The team is fully remote and has three employees currently in Atlanta. Adkins sees keeping this decentralized work model, which mimics the decentralization of the crypto market.
MomentRanks is free for users, and Adkins said the startup is still working out the best revenue stream for the company. As NFTs become more popular, MomentRanks plans to expand beyond NBA Top Shot analyses.
“MomentRanks would be a hub for collectors and be one place to view all the information about these separate marketplaces,” Adkins said.