The Rise of Pre-Seed Funding and the NFT Art Marketplace



Jun 28, 20234 min read


The Rise of Pre-Seed Funding and the NFT Art Marketplace


In recent years, the landscape of startup funding has been evolving rapidly. Pre-seed rounds, once considered relatively small, are now growing in size and complexity. As a result, the need for a lead investor to anchor these rounds has become increasingly important. Additionally, the emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has captured the attention of the art world as digital assets are being bought and sold for millions of dollars. In this article, we will explore the connection between pre-seed funding and the NFT art marketplace, highlighting the common points and unique insights that tie these two trends together.

The Role of Lead Investors in Pre-Seed Funding:

Traditionally, pre-seed rounds were characterized by smaller investments from multiple investors. However, as these rounds have become larger, the need for a lead investor has arisen. A lead investor is an individual or firm that puts in the largest check, typically accounting for at least 50% of the round. This trend has led to the compilation of a list of 4 dozen funds that consistently lead pre-seed rounds, ensuring startups have a solid anchor to attract additional investment.

The Rise of NFTs and the Beeple Phenomenon:

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have been around for several years but gained widespread attention with the rise of Beeple, a digital artist who sold an NFT artwork for a staggering $69 million. NFTs are essentially a registration of ownership of a digital object on a blockchain, most commonly on Ethereum's underlying blockchain network. The unique aspect of NFTs is that they provide not only ownership but also transparent ownership that can be viewed by anyone on the blockchain. This transparency adds value to the digital assets, creating a new marketplace for digital art and collectibles.

The Value and Environmental Concerns of NFTs:

The value of NFTs lies not only in the artwork itself but also in the ownership and provenance that the blockchain provides. This has led to the emergence of multi-billion dollar industries centered around crypto-collectibles and crypto-art. However, there have been concerns raised regarding the environmental impact of NFTs. A single Ethereum transaction, which is often used for NFT transactions, is estimated to have an ecological cost of around 35 kWh. Artists and engineers are now exploring ways to mitigate this impact and find more sustainable solutions for the crypto-art industry.

Connecting Pre-Seed Funding and the NFT Art Marketplace:

The connection between pre-seed funding and the NFT art marketplace lies in the potential for investment opportunities. As pre-seed rounds become larger, startups in the NFT space require lead investors who understand the unique dynamics of the market. These investors can provide not only the necessary capital but also valuable insights and connections within the art world. By combining pre-seed funding with the emerging NFT marketplace, investors can tap into the potential for exponential growth and returns.

Actionable Advice:

1. For startups seeking pre-seed funding in the NFT space, focus on attracting lead investors who have experience and knowledge in the art market. Their insights and connections can greatly enhance your chances of success.

2. Investors looking to enter the NFT art marketplace should consider diversifying their portfolio by investing in pre-seed rounds of promising startups. This allows for exposure to both the growing NFT industry and the potential for high returns in the early stages of a startup's growth.

3. Environmental concerns surrounding NFTs should not be ignored. Startups and investors alike should actively seek out solutions and support initiatives that promote sustainability within the crypto-art space. Collaboration and innovation in this area can help mitigate the negative impact on the environment.


The convergence of pre-seed funding and the NFT art marketplace presents exciting opportunities for startups and investors alike. By understanding the importance of lead investors in pre-seed rounds and the value of ownership provided by NFTs, stakeholders can navigate these evolving landscapes successfully. However, it is crucial to address the environmental concerns associated with NFTs and work towards sustainable solutions. By incorporating these actionable advice, we can foster responsible growth in the NFT art marketplace while maximizing the potential for innovation and success.


  1. "Funds that lead pre-seeds", (Glasp)
  2. "what is an NFT, beeple, and why is the non-fungible art marketplace worth millions?", (Glasp)

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