Fractional raises $20 million to simplify co-ownership of NFT and takes the name Tessera

Fractional, a company that allows people to sell fractions of their NFTs, announced Wednesday that it is changing its name to Tessera. The move coincides with a new funding round led by crypto giant Paradigm.

Tessera founder and CEO Andy Chorlian said the $20 million investment will be used to add employees to the company’s 24-person team, including some in marketing and outside roles as well as developers and engineers.

Tessera’s team will also use the additional resources to double down on a new protocol it’s developing that will turn digital items in a person’s NFT into NFTs themselves, instead of ERC-20 digital tokens like USDT or the USDC.

Fractional NFTs will look like a print of an original piece of art, Chorlian said, and simplify the trading process for users who may be experienced with NFTs but not digital tokens.

“That was a really, really big hurdle for a lot of our users, who are so used to trading NFTs on OpenSea or any of these other markets and this level of education and trying to explain how it all works was just a step too far for a lot of people,” Chorlian said. Fortune.

For many, splitting an NFT is seen as an investment. The Tessera website states that some of the benefits of doing this are getting cash for an NFT without having to sell it outright and collecting fees from people who buy fractions of your NFT.

With the new funding, Chorlian said Tessera is making its name more distinctive and rebranding to reflect a shifting ambition for the company to move away from financialization and focus on collective ownership and community. The new name, Tessera, is commonly defined as a tile or other material used to construct a mosaic.

“Really, what’s most exciting for us, in general, is how to make interesting connections with other people,” Chorlian said. “How can we empower artists and creators? »

Chorlian launched Tessera in 2021 with co-founder Nejc Krajnik, after earning a degree in computer science from Villanova University in 2016 and developing smart contracts at organizations like MakerDAO, the decentralized autonomous organization that issues the DAI stablecoin and specializes in standalone crypto loans. Since launch, the company has facilitated a total transaction volume of $2 billion and hosts approximately 70,000 unique fractional NFT holders, Chorlian said.

Tessera previously raised $7.9 million in a round led by Paradigm last August, which it said it would use to bolster its business development team and in-house counsel.

Chorlian said that in addition to Paradigm, the round includes 50 angel investors, all with extensive knowledge of NFTs and decentralized finance to help give feedback and guide the company. Investors like Focus Labs, Uniswap Labs Ventures, E Girl Capital and Yunt Capital also participated in the round.

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