NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) and the metaverse are two of the most talked about concepts in the world right now. Big firms such as Facebook, Pepsi, Microsoft and more are increasingly investing in these technologies. Now, the latest company to join the bandwagon is Nike. The company today announced the acquisition of RTFKT (pronounced: artifact), which it calls a ‘leading brand that leverages cutting edge innovation to deliver next generation collectibles that merge culture and gaming.’ While the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, the startup did raise $8 million in May this year by Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the company at $33.3 million. Also Read - Why is Mark Zuckerberg's metaverse dream not pragmatic just yet?
“We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities,” Nike President and CEO John Donahoe said on the occasion adding that this was yet another step in the company’s digital transformation. Also Read - Samsung tops consumer-focused brands in India list
Nike’s acquisition of RTFKT Studios comes at an interesting time when the company is creating a buzz owing to one the most-talked about NFT projects of the month – CloneX. CloneX is a crypto-art project that is an outcome of the collaboration between RTFKT and Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. The project includes a series of 20,000 digitally-generated 3D avatars with randomised features such as eyes, clothes and mouth among others. The project was launched in November and since then it has already garnered over $77 million in transaction volume as per CryptoSlam. Also Read - Nike releases limited edition Midnight Fog Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE
In addition to that, the company also collaborated with 18-year-old artist Fewocious for its metaverse ready virtual sneakers. The partnership led to the company selling over $3 million worth of digital sneakers in less than seven minutes.
It is worth noting that Nike is not the only company that is trying to leverage Blockchain and consequently NFTs. Adidas recently announced a collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. The development followed the company buying a piece of virtual land in a blockchain-based world called The Sandbox.