In a recent announcement via X (Twitter), OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer revealed plans to downsize the non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace’s team. The move is part of an effort to revamp OpenSea’s operations, products, and technology, referred to as “OpenSea 2.0.”
In his thread on X, Finzer acknowledged the company’s achievements, highlighting OpenSea’s role as the pioneer NFT marketplace in 2017. Over the years, OpenSea introduced user-centric features, including no-code publishing for creators and enhanced user security measures.
2/9— Devin Finzer (dfinzer.eth) (@dfinzer) November 3, 2023
We’re proud to have built the first marketplace for NFTs, launching OpenSea beta back in 2017 when web3 was still in its infancy.
Back then, there were only a few projects on OpenSea, web3 didn’t work at all on mobile, and the term “NFT” was just being invented.
However, the CEO hinted at the need for a strategic rethink, describing it as a “step back” to reinvent the marketplace’s fundamental culture, products, and technology.
The forthcoming changes will prioritize “OpenSea 2.0,” which aims to enhance the platform’s technology, reliability, speed, quality, and user experience. Unfortunately, this transformation also involves a downsizing of the OpenSea workforce, with up to 50% of employees facing potential layoffs.
This is not the first time OpenSea has resorted to staff reductions. In July 2022, the company laid off approximately 20% of its employees, resulting in a workforce of approximately 200 individuals.
OpenSea had experienced substantial growth in valuation, with investors pegging its worth at $13.3 billion during its Series C funding round in 2022, up from the $1.5 billion valuation in the Series B round of $100 million disclosed in 2021.
The specific changes in OpenSea’s structure are yet to be disclosed, but the transformation may be in response to evolving trends in the NFT market.
The NFT market experienced remarkable growth in 2021, with a staggering 21,000% increase in sales. However, there has been a significant shift in recent months. In January 2023, NFT sales reached 7.36 million, but by July, they had dropped to 3.7 million, marking a 49% decrease in activity.