eBay announced today that it’s acquiring Manchester-based NFT marketplace KnownOrigin. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. eBay says the companies have signed and closed the deal as of June 22nd.
KnownOrigin was founded in 2018 by Andy Gray, David Moore and James Morgan. All three co-founders are joining eBay. The platform enables artists and collectors to create, buy and resell NFTs. eBay say it’s acquiring the entire company, including IP and the team.
“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,” said eBay CEO Jamie Iannone 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 comes a month after eBay launched its first collection of NFTs in partnership with web3 platform OneOf. The company’s new “Genesis” NFT Collection will feature 3D and animated interpretations of the iconic athletes featured on Sports Illustrated covers over the years. eBay says the surge in the collectibles market has led to its first-ever collaboration in the NFT space.
Although eBay has a significant presence in online shopping, the company will have its work cut out for it competing with dozens of crypto native NFT marketplaces already out there. However, its acquisition of KnownOrigin indicates that the company is getting serious about NFTs.
“We founded KnownOrigin to empower creators and collectors by giving them the ability to showcase, sell, and collect unique, authenticated digital items,” said David Moore, the co-founder of KnownOrigin, in a statement. “As interest in NFTs continues to grow, we believe now is the perfect time for us to partner with a company that has the reach and experience of eBay. With more than twenty-five years building similar communities of passionate individuals, we are excited by the opportunity to bring a whole new audience on this journey. 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.”
eBay says NFTs represent a significant area of growth for its business. The company’s latest acquisition furthers its push into the world of blockchain technology and digital collectibles.