Ex-OpenSea executive Nate Chastain is working on a new non-fungible token (NFT) platform, Oval, a website and mobile app designed to make it easier for collectors to find NFTs they like.
If successful, the project would mark Chastain’s return to crypto after he resigned from OpenSea last September amid allegations of insider trading.
According to pitch materials viewed by CoinDesk, the new venture is looking to raise a $3 million seed round at a $30 million pre-money valuation as of late February. An earlier version of the deck viewed by CoinDesk showed the project was looking to raise $7.5 million at a $50 million pre-money valuation.
Chastain did not immediately respond to requests for comment via email, Twitter message or Telegram. The most recent pitch deck seen by CoinDesk shows a co-founder who formerly worked for Instagram, according to his LinkedIn profile and the Oval website. An email to Oval was not immediately returned.
Since his resignation, Chastain has kept an extremely low profile on social media, seemingly abandoning the Twitter account that bears his infamous blue-bandana CryptoPunk.
He was previously head of product at OpenSea and a senior product manager at the Ethereum wallet MetaMask.
Oval, described as a “personalized platform for collecting NFTs” in pitch materials, is aiming to save users time in the NFT discovery process by “providing them with more context and control over NFTs than any other consumer platform.”
Currently, the argument goes, the NFT market is oversaturated with projects, making it difficult for collectors to find NFTs they might truly care about.
Additionally, current discovery processes are time-consuming and inefficient, with collectors frequently hopping from project Discords to marketplace listings to Twitter discussions before finally making a purchase.
The pitch materials compared Oval to Web 2 platforms like YouTube and Spotify, which gained popularity by fine-tuning their recommendation algorithms in order to deliver engaging content to their viewers and listeners.
Similarly, Oval aims to personalize the NFT purchasing experience through alerts, curated galleries, specialized collection interfaces and aggregated activity streams, according to the pitch materials.
While Oval does not appear to be launching a marketplace that would directly compete with Chastain’s former employer, OpenSea, the project indicates smaller NFT platforms are also looking to stake their claim in crypto’s hottest new segment.
In 2021, NFTs accounted for $25 billion in trading activity, according to data compiled by DappRadar.