Nike acquires NFT startup RTFKT studios to enter into the metaverse

Nike acquires NFT startup RTFKT studios to enter into the metaverse

Nike, the renowned global sports brand, has reportedly announced its recent acquisition of the NFT business RTFKT (pronounced ‘artefact’), which majorly deals in crypto collectibles. With this, the global sports brand is supposedly taking a deeper plunge in the world of NFT.

The acquisition’s announcement apparently comes at a good time for RTFKT, which is currently in the news for being behind a much anticipated NFT project that is set to launch this month. Known as CloneX, the project is an expansive avatar partnership with Takashi Murakami, a renowned Japanese contemporary artist.

As per sources, the project has seen around $65 million in transaction volume so far since its initial drop about three weeks ago.

Financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Back in May, the company had raised a $8 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the firm at more than $33.3 million.

John Donahoe, Nike’s president, stated that RTFKT’s acquisition brings Nike another step closer towards its digital transformation, allowing the company to serve creators and athletes at the intersection of creativity, culture, sports, and gaming.

Back in November, Nike discreetly registered over half a dozen of its distinctive trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for online use and in online virtual environments.

Not the company is one step closer to delivering things imprinted with its iconic swoosh to virtual communities with the takeover of RTFKT. The prospect appears to be lucrative even though RTFKT has been only around since 2020, it has already amassed millions of dollars in virtual footwear sales.

RTFKT had partnered with other crypto creators to design sneakers like real shoes that used imagery from other NFT initiatives, namely Bored Apes, and CryptoPunks, along with developing its own NFT drops.

Nike first considered NFTs in 2019, when the company was granted a trademark for blockchain-compatible sneakers described as ‘CryptoKicks’. The patent's concept is to provide buyers with a digital version of the actual shoes they buy, which would then be held in a bitcoin wallet known as a ‘digital locker’. Through the RTFKT takeover, Nike appears to be closer to fulfilling its metaverse goal.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.