NFT Startups to Watch: The Companies Changing the Game

September 8, 2023
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As the digital revolution continues to evolve, a new wave of innovation is sweeping the landscape: Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs. This burgeoning space is being shaped by forward-thinking startups that are transforming our notions of ownership, art, and digital assets. 

From platforms facilitating the trade of digital assets to those reinventing the worlds of gaming, sports, and beyond, each startup brings its unique touch to the NFT universe. In the article that follows, we delve into some of the most promising players that are redefining the industry.

From blockchain-powered gaming arenas to the most sought-after digital art galleries, these startups are at the forefront of the NFT revolution. Prepare for a fascinating journey into the heart of the NFT boom.

Dapper Labs

Sitting at the helm of the NFT revolution is the Vancouver-based startup, Dapper Labs. With an impressive funding amount of $612.5 million, they’re unquestionably leading the charge in the world of NFTs. They’re the masterminds behind the NBA Top Shot, a digital trading card system which allows fans to buy, sell and trade officially licensed NBA collectible highlights. Plus, who could forget the unforgettable CryptoKitties? The blockchain-based virtual game that allows players to adopt, raise, and trade virtual cats, sparked the global frenzy for digital collectibles

The firm’s mission to bring real-world experiences into the digital realm doesn’t stop there. Recently, Dapper Labs announced a partnership with Mixi, Inc. to expand the NFT market to the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan. The goal is to create consumer-friendly NFT experiences on their proprietary Flow blockchain. From sports memorabilia to digital pets, Dapper Labs continues to redefine how we perceive ownership and trade in the digital age.

Own the Moment NFT

From the sunny shores of Tampa Bay, Florida, emerges a rising star in the NFT startup scene – Own the Moment NFT. With a modest funding amount of $120,000, this dynamic platform is creating a name for itself by providing an all-encompassing hub for everything related to NFT collection and investment.

Own the Moment offers a suite of tools designed to help users make informed investment decisions. They do the heavy lifting by gathering comprehensive data on individual NFT assets, allowing users to make decisions backed by strong analytics. The standout feature? Every user gets a dedicated partner that helps create an NFT strategy tailored to their needs, covering everything from discovery and education to analysis and discussion. It’s like having a seasoned guide accompanying you on your journey through the exciting yet complex universe of NFTs.


Hailing from Manchester, UK, KnownOrigin has carved out a unique niche in the bustling NFT marketplace. Their distinctive approach of featuring a limited collection of high-quality pieces is reminiscent of an upscale art gallery, offering a refined experience in the often chaotic world of digital assets. With a robust £3.5 million in funding and an acquisition by eBay under its belt, KnownOrigin has both the financial backing and the strategic partnerships to truly disrupt the digital art space.

KnownOrigin focuses on quality over quantity, leading to a lower trade volume but a more curated selection of digital artwork for collectors to choose from. This selective approach provides a more satisfying purchasing experience for collectors, who can be assured that they are investing in premier digital artworks. The elegance of a traditional art gallery, the thrill of owning a unique digital asset, all bundled in one platform – that’s the KnownOrigin experience.

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Welcome to Miami, where the sun is hot and the NFTs are hotter. Nifty’s, a bright, young startup, has successfully raised $10 million in funding, propelling them into the forefront of the digital assets world. This innovative platform is more than just a marketplace for NFTs – it’s a vibrant social media network designed specifically for the growing community of NFT enthusiasts. 

Nifty’s allows creators, collectors, and curators to follow and interact with each other, broadening their reach, and creating an ecosystem where digital assets can be showcased and traded. With a rapidly expanding library of more than 2 million NFTs, the possibilities for connection and creativity are endless. 

Nifty’s has brought a fresh perspective to the NFT space by combining social networking features with blockchain technology. This fusion promises to amplify the visibility of digital artists, make NFT trading more interactive, and generally deepen the community spirit of the NFT world.


Directly from the bustling tech hub of Singapore, Mintable is making significant waves in the NFT sector. With an impressive funding of $13 million, Mintable is a platform that empowers anyone to mint their own digital tokens and dive head-first into the fast-growing NFT marketplace. The platform hosts a diverse collection of categories, such as art, music, videos, collectibles, sports, and utility, with plans for further expansion.

What sets Mintable apart is their recent partnership with Ripple, a leader in enterprise blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions. This collaboration aims to promote growth in the NFT sector while levelling the playing field for creators from various disciplines and backgrounds. With Mintable, creativity knows no bounds, and everyone has the opportunity to stake their claim in the NFT revolution.

Yield Guild Games

Straight out of Manila, Philippines, Yield Guild Games (YGG) is taking the NFT and gaming worlds by storm with a robust funding of $36.2 million. This groundbreaking startup is revolutionising how we perceive online gaming by creating a dynamic, interactive, and rewarding gaming ecosystem where players can actually earn money from playing NFT games.

YGG operates as a “play-to-earn gaming guild,” where members democratically decide what games to play, which virtual assets to invest in, and how these assets will be utilised in the games. They’re not just aiming for the moon, but for a different universe altogether, with the ambitious goal of creating the world’s largest virtual economy. If you’re a gaming enthusiast looking for a fresh and rewarding gaming experience, keep an eye on Yield Guild Games.


Based in the vibrant city of Hoan Kiem, Vietnam, Spores is leaving its mark on the NFT market with an impressive funding of $23 million. Billing itself as a curated NFT marketplace and GameFi publisher with an Asian influence, Spores aims to help “artists, creators, and brands activate the Metaverse.”

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Spores is not just about selling and buying; they are committed to nurturing a robust ecosystem of creators and gamers. With plans to feature 10 games in their GameFi store in the first quarter of 2022 and two new games added each month thereafter, the buzz around Spores is palpable. Not to mention their ambitious goal of onboarding 10,000 artists into their primary market within the same time frame.


In the heart of Dover, Delaware, Rarible is shaking up the NFT landscape. With $16 million in funding, Rarible has established itself as a community-owned platform that enables users to trade blockchain-secured digital items. The platform plays host to a vast array of creators and brands, from renowned digital artists like Pak and LIRONA to celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Rarible isn’t just about buying and selling, though. The platform boasts several features designed to enhance the NFT experience, such as multiple-edition NFTs, timed auctions, royalties, a messenger for easy communication, and a personalised activity feed. This community-centric approach sets Rarible apart in the NFT market, making it a must-watch in the ever-evolving world of digital assets.


If you’ve been keeping an eye on the world of blockchain and NFTs, chances are you’ve come across ConsenSys. This Brooklyn-based company, founded back in 2014, is one of the leading forces in the Ethereum space and has been instrumental in shaping the blockchain industry as we know it.

With a mission to create next-generation applications and groundbreaking financial infrastructure, ConsenSys is at the forefront of the decentralised web movement. Their product suite, including renowned services such as Infura, Quorum, Truffle, Codefi, MetaMask, and Diligence, caters to millions of users worldwide and has facilitated the raise of billions of dollars in digital assets. If you’re interested in the exciting frontier of Ethereum-based NFTs, ConsenSys is a company to watch.


Barely two years old and founded in the digital-savvy city of Tallinn, Estonia, Dotmoovs is a rising star in the world of NFTs and e-sports. Dotmoovs is a revolutionary Play2Earn e-sport competition platform that allows users to challenge each other in their favourite sports using AI video judges. Think of it as a virtual, borderless, always-on sports competition where you can earn while you play.

Players can earn $MOOV, NFTs, and other rewards, transforming their sports training into exciting, peer-to-peer competitions. In the words of Dotmoovs, they aim to “eliminate any physical and geographical limitations in sports,” making it a truly inclusive and universal platform.


From the cosmopolitan city of London, United Kingdom, Verisart is making significant strides in the NFT space with a robust funding of $5 million. Verisart isn’t your average NFT platform – it’s an independent NFT minting service that provides a patented global certification standard, a first of its kind, leveraging the blockchain’s immutability to bring authenticity to the art and collectibles market.

Verisart’s mission goes beyond mere tokenization. It aims to empower creators to build their businesses with the assurance of provenance and legitimacy. By using Verisart’s authentication service, creators and collectors can quickly mint and authenticate NFTs, providing an extra layer of trust in the transaction process. Verisart is leading the charge in bolstering credibility in the NFT art scene, making it a startup to keep an eye on.

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Enter the world of Polkawar, a next-level, decentralised, blockchain-based online fighting game inspired by the innovative landscape of NFTs. Polkawar is not your average gaming platform; it is a fully immersive, real-time battlefield where players can build unique character systems with varying levels of weapons and equipment to engage in thrilling battles against other players.

But the innovation doesn’t stop there. Polkawar has interwoven the world of NFTs into the core of its gaming experience. Players can buy, sell, and trade digital items in the game’s very own NFT marketplace, turning their virtual achievements into tangible assets. From epic weapons to rare armour pieces, the world of Polkawar offers a vast, exciting universe of digital collectibles waiting to be explored.


Founded in 2021 with creators, users, and communities at its core, Element aims to bring down the barriers separating the traditional and crypto economies. Element’s vision is to enable a broader pool of users to dive into the NFT market, facilitating the integration of the conventional marketplace with the revolutionary world of cryptocurrencies.

Element is a decentralised NFT marketplace built on a robust blockchain network. It offers a vibrant platform where creators can develop and investors can discover valuable trading opportunities in the NFT space. Element is not merely a trading platform; it is a bustling hub where creativity meets investment, and traditional finance meets the cutting-edge world of NFTs.


Based in the bustling city of Atlanta, Georgia, MomentRanks is making a slam dunk in the NFT world with a solid funding of $5.9 million. MomentRanks distinguishes itself from the pack by focusing solely on NBA Top Shot NFTs, bringing together fans of basketball and digital collectibles in a unique way.

Though its target audience might be relatively specific, MomentRanks proves that niche markets can thrive in the NFT space. The platform claims to attract hundreds of thousands of users who seek data insights, social experiences, account valuations, and educational content. This startup is more than just an NFT trading platform; it’s a comprehensive hub for NBA Top Shot enthusiasts.


As we’ve seen, the NFT landscape is rich with groundbreaking startups, each daring to innovate and redefine the digital realm. Among these exciting ventures, Maincard stands out, boasting a unique approach to the NFT market. This platform is not merely facilitating the trade of digital assets but is leveraging blockchain technology to create a thrilling and rewarding sports fantasy management platform. 

Every Maincard is unique, adding an element of exclusivity to the user experience and ensuring each player enjoys a truly personal experience. With Maincard, you don’t just participate in sports events; you earn by playing, creating a whole new meaning to being a sports fan. 

As the NFT landscape continues to evolve, it’s clear that startups like Maincard will lead the charge. They’re not just shaping the future of digital assets, but they’re redefining our understanding of what’s possible in the realm of sports, gaming, and beyond. Keep an eye on these startups; they’re more than just companies; they’re pioneers in the brave new world of NFTs.

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