Atlanta startup GigLabs raises $4.5M to bring NFTs into mainstream sports, entertainment – Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta blockchain startup GigLabs raised $4.5 million to help sports and entertainment brands launch non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.  
Why it matters: The raise, supported by Atlanta venture capital firm Panoramic Ventures, demonstrates the growth of a new trend in the crypto industry. NFTs use blockchain technology to produce unique digital products that people can buy or trade with cryptocurrency, usually digital art or digital sports collectibles. Atlanta has a strong crypto industry, grown out of its reputation as a financial technology hub. GigLabs partners with CNN and Turner Sports to power their NFT projects, showing collaboration among local startups and corporations. NFT sales grew to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, according to Reuters, a massive market opportunity for GigLabs. 
Inside the deal: Panoramic Ventures led the round with Dapper Labs, a venture-backed NFT company behind NBA Top Shot, an NFT exchange for professional basketball games — a modernized version of trading sports cards. Other investors include Collab+Currency, Red Beard Ventures, Eterna Capital, Alumni Venture Group, Gaingels and Amino Capital.  
About the company: GigLabs, founded in 2017, integrates its technology into other brands to enable NFT transactions with its NFT Bridge platform. It also produces 3D digital galleries to showcase NFT art pieces. GigLabs also partners with Speedway Motorsports and the University of Miami. CEO Douglas Dimola, chief technology officer Brian Burns and chief revenue officer Jon Parise founded the company.  
What’s next: A majority of the 22-person team is based in Atlanta, but GigLabs has a remote-first office model. GigLabs plans to double its team in 20222, Parise said. 
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