eBay Acquires NFT Marketplace KnownOrigin
eBay recently announced that it has acquired the NFT Marketplace KnownOrigin. The deal closed on June 22. The amount that was paid remains undisclosed. This is a move that makes a lot of sense for the eBay business model. Both eBay and KnownOrigin are auction websites. KnownOrigin has done a good job of growing their community. eBay is hoping to leverage that user base, along with KnownOrigin's tried-and-true processes, to pivot people over to digital collecting on the eBay platform.
eBay has acquired the entire company, including IP and the team. The three cofounders, Andy Gray, David Moore, and James Morgan, will be remaining on board, and will likely make the transition much smoother. Clearly, eBay hopes to get coverage in this important space with this strategic acquisition, and the two companies truly do seem like a partnership made in heaven. eBay may have started out selling physical items, but digital collectibles can easily fit into their existing business model.
KnownOrigin was founded in 2018. It is a platform for NFT artists to sell their non-fungible tokens and a place for collectors to browse and buy. In a public statement, eBay CEO Jamie Lannone stated, “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.”
This isn’t the first move that eBay has made to enter the NFT space. Back in May, eBay launchd its own collection of NFTs, created in partnership with web3 platform Oneof. The collection is called “Genesis” and includes 3D and animated representations of various athletes who have been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
eBay is getting into the NFT game, because there’s money to be made, and they’ve been quite upfront about that. The company has stated that the recent growth of the NFT collectibles market is the reason they’ve decided to go in this direction. They’ve clearly been paying attention to other NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea, and noticing that there’s money to be made in this lucrative and quickly growing market. With the recent volume of NFT sales, eBay can appreciate fees associated with selling a lot of product and making a healthy profit, as OpenSea has so spectacularly done.
While eBay hopes to gain NFT marketshare, KnownOrigin co-founder David Moore is hoping this acquisition will help them grow their customer base even further. He says, “This is the start of a new chapter in the KnownOrigin story and we couldn’t choose a better time to focus on building and innovating with the team at eBay. This partnership will help us attract a new wave of NFT creators and collectors.”
Investing in digital collectibles and blockchain appears to be an area where the company is focusing on growth. We can probably expect this internet giant to make future forays into NFTs as it adapts to a new and exciting market.