Pantera Capital: Metaverse fashion companies like Space Runners usher in an explosion

Founded in 2003, Pantera Capital is headquartered in San Francisco. Pantera Capital was founded by former Tiger Management Head of Macro Trading and CFO Dan Morehead. Pantera’s global macro strategy has invested more than $1 billion in institutional allocations. In 2013, Pantera created the first blockchain hedge and venture fund in the United States.

Pantera launched its first cryptocurrency fund in the US in 2013 when Bitcoin was at $65. The firm then launched its first blockchain-focused venture fund. Pantera co-CIO Joey Krug co-founded Augur, one of the first decentralized applications built on Ethereum. In 2017, Pantera was the first to offer an early stage token fund.

The data shows that since 2013, Pantera has been investing in digital assets and blockchain companies, providing investors with a full range of investment opportunities in this field. Mainly focus on seed stage and early stage investment. Since 2013, Pantera has led 50% of the 195 investments. Pantera has $480 million in assets under management and 95 venture capital investments. Investment types involve risk equity, early stage tokens, liquid tokens. Pantera Bitcoin Fund is up 57,500% since inception; Pantera Venture Funds achieved $125 million of $23 million in invested capital in 26 companies.

Recently, Metaverse fashion brand Space Runners announced the completion of a $10 million seed round. This round of financing was led by Pantera Capital and Polychain. Accel, Jump Crypto, Animoca Brands executive chairman and co-founder Yat Siu, Twitch co-founder Justin Kan Wait for participation.

Paul Veradittakit, a partner at Pantera Capital (which focuses on corporate venture capital and hedge fund investments), also writes about the development and future of Space Runners.

Space Runners project development

Space Runners is an American Metaverse fashion clothing brand, focusing on designing and launching digital wearable clothing NFTs for virtual environments such as virtual worlds, games and social media, building the future of fashion in web3.

The company is creating a fashion-focused virtual world and launching an innovative NFT collection in collaboration with talented designers and artists. Space Runners launched its first NBA championship sneaker collection last December with former NBA champions Kyle Kuzma and Nick Young, and minted NFTs on the Solana blockchain. Space Runners collaborates with celebrities and brands through augmented reality (AR ) to design and launch digital wearable NFTs. Now, Space Runners plans to bring its vision of a “fashion Metaverse” to Ethereum and other chains.


Deniz zgür, CEO of Space Runners, said: “We are designing and launching NFT series of fashion products, and we will also start the first phase of the construction of the fashion Metaverse, which is not limited to urban cyberpunk style, but pays more attention to aesthetics and aesthetics. Aesthetics, for which we’ve been working with some of the most beloved fashion houses in New York.”

Pantera Capital partner Paul Veradittakit said the vision of Space Runners is to create a new way of interacting that connects blockchain and fashion brands.

It is worth mentioning that the company will also provide social media algorithms for platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat to make NFTs more accessible.

Space Runners has launched the first NFT collection since 2021, and currently in progress in 2022 is to expand the NFT collection and utility, conduct NFT staking to unlock the utility, and promote the NFT merger and upgrade function. The Fashion Metaverse of Space Runners as well as the Fashion NFT Marketplace and Space Runners Official Merchandise Store will also be launched in the future.

Development of Metaverse Fashion

Metaverse fashion companies are gaining explosive attention as people look to present themselves in a more complete and holistic way in the web3. As individuals, our appearance is an integral part of who we are and how we present ourselves to society. Whether it’s following a fashion trend, carving out their own style space, or religiously buying a brand, everyone has a unique relationship to their own personal style.


Fashion has long been an expression of personal style, status and wealth. Source: Getty Images

Our first impression of people is usually related to their appearance. This habit is reinforced online—in the Metaverse, the first thing you identify with a person is usually their digital image. Additionally, virtual representations are becoming increasingly important across society, especially as the pandemic limits face-to-face social interaction. The field of fashion NFTs is taking off because people have an innate desire to express themselves with their bodies — something that cannot be escaped on the internet. According to OpenSea founder Alex Atallah’s Twitter, in 2010, there were more NFTs on OpenSea than websites on the Internet. A larger share of these NFTs are gradually becoming trendy NFTs.

Generally speaking, people like to use fashion to show their self, wealth and status. But fashion is especially striking in the Metaverse ecosystem, as it allows individuals to express themselves in ways that go beyond web2. Web3 fashion has a wider audience and is not limited by physical constraints such as clothing design time, production time, and other real-life logistics. Unlike physical fashion, most items depreciate when they are new, and Metaverse clothing can be seen as an investment that can add value. Also, the comfort and functionality of clothing is completely out of the meta world, so individuals are more likely to take bolder stances on fashion statements. Those who are reluctant to wear clothes outside their comfort zone in the real world are more likely to make these fashion leaps in the Metaverse.

Fashion-related events such as virtual fashion shows, pop-up boutique tours, and try-on galleries are becoming more popular and accessible across the ecosystem. For example, the first user-owned virtual world, Decentraland, hosted its first free “Metaverse Fashion Week” (MVFW) on March 24. Unlike live events, which have limited accessibility, the event is extremely inclusive and only requires an Ethereum wallet to purchase assets. MVFW will enable users to purchase digital wearables from a variety of popular Metaverse fashion brands. People don’t need high social status, strong relationships, or a lot of capital, which is required to attend other fashion weeks. Aside from the low barriers to entry, another attraction of this field is personalization. The power of this web3 ecosystem will only show your style more and more through protocols like Space Runners.

Space Runners in Pantera’s eyes

Space Runners is a Metaverse fashion brand focused on creating beautiful pieces for the people of the Metaverse. Fashion is an integral part of how we express ourselves, both in the real world and in the web3 world, and Pantera is proud to co-lead Space Runner’s $10 million funding round with Polychain Capital.

Space Runners co-founder Won Soh said that with the funding, they plan to “build the first end-to-end fashion ecosystem on the blockchain.” Showcasing high fashion as wealth is not a new concept and is increasingly prominent in the web3 ecosystem. Overall, the Metaverse emphasizes wealth, for better or for worse, as individuals’ tokens and assets are open-sourced and therefore more widely accessible and accessible. People can easily use their fashion NFTs to show off their personal style and flaunt their wealth.

The buzz about digital fashion can be seen in the community curated by Space Runners. They have over 300,000 followers on Instagram and over 100,000 followers on Twitter and Discord members. On Snapchat, users can even “try on” sneakers and other digital wearables through filters the team has rolled out. The project is monetized by charging a one-time initial minting fee for each collection launched and a 4.25% re-use fee for each product resold in the fashion world.


A pair of NBA Champions from Space Runner with historical prices and attributes. Source: Magic Eden

Space Runners Expansion Program

Space Runners unique digital wearables, often collected and in collaboration with artists, are presented as NFTs on the blockchain that can be inserted into metadata and games. Space Runners is creator-oriented: the platform often hosts design competitions open to anyone and collaborates extensively with many unique artists. Currently, Space Runners is running a design competition where the best designs are voted on by the community, and the winner’s design will be included in the next series as a guest designer and receive a share of the revenue.

The protocol initially launched NFTs on Solana as a fashion line — listed on Magic Eden and FTX — but is planning to expand their Chrono fashion vision to Ethereum and other chains. Deniz Özgür, CEO of Space Runners, said Space Runners has been working with “some of New York’s most popular fashion agencies” in hopes of creating a more beautiful, softer collection that goes beyond the “urban web-style” genre.


Compete for the current leaderboard of designers who are part of Space Runners’ next series. Source: Space Runners 

Space Runners’ partnership with NBA stars

Their first collection with former NBA stars Kyle Kuzma and Nick Young, titled “NBA Champions Drop,” sold out in just nine minutes. The pieces were minted on Solana and currently have a reserve price of $13 on the popular NFT exchange Magic Eden. The series is capped at 10,000 pieces and the mint’s lifetime royalties are 0.5%.

According to the group’s founders, those community members who worked to get whitelisted in the Space Runners Discord “received rewards for participating in private sales,” including perks like priority entry and discounted prices. The private auction was soon followed by a public auction. The price of the first round of private placement is 3SOL, the price of the second round of private placement is 4SOL, and the price of public NFT is 5SOL.

According to Magic Eden, owners of sneaker NFTs can get exclusive benefits such as tickets to NBA games, physical Space Runners merchandise, exclusive party invitations, an automatic whitelist for the next time, and more. The company plans to launch a second series in the near future. Space Runners clearly places a lot of emphasis on bringing prominent and emerging artists into the NFT ecosystem and providing them with technical knowledge about the NFT execution process.


The NBA Champions Drop artwork is currently available on Magic Eden. Source: Magic Eden

Instead of entering the existing Metaverse ecosystem, Space Runners plans to launch their own separate space in a Metaverse called Spaceverse. They believe creating their own fashion space with their own currency will allow them to design a unique ecosystem especially suited to virtual fashion. Opening up the space will also designate Space Runner’s community into a unique area where they can further build their ecosystem. Additionally, they will build a moat in their fashion space with their currency and strong community.

SPACE token situation

The company’s token $SPACE has many use cases. Users can burn $SPACE tokens to upgrade existing NFTs and merge multiple NFTs. According to Space Runners, individuals can also spend $SPACE to buy land to build stores, shop from boutiques and display their NFTs. $SPACE is a utility token — the currency can also be earned by playing games and interacting with others in the Metaverse, and can also be used for governance, voting, and rewarding purposes.

future imagination

According to the founders, Space Runners has exciting next steps to help the brand become the leading end-to-end fashion ecosystem on the blockchain. With Spaceverse, they aim not only to gamify fashion through the Wear-to-Earn economy, but also bring fashion brands into their virtual world to create the most seamless and immersive shopping experience. With their sleek NFTs, they aim to continue expanding integrations with augmented reality, as well as integrations with other Metaverses and gaming environments. This expansion will make Space Runner the most engaging, versatile, and user-friendly platform for fashion brands and individuals seeking to participate in the Metaverse.

Space Runner Team

Space Runners was co-founded by Won Soh and Deniz Özgür, both of whom have leadership experience in the Metaverse project. Soh has worked at McKinsey, Google and Bain and earned a BA in Business Administration from UC Berkeley, while Özgür has a career in blockchain and digital identity after graduating with a BA in Business and Economics from the Bosphorus University A lot of time was invested in development. Other notable artists on the team include Rohan Chhabra, Victor Homenko and Mijoo Kim, each of whom brings a unique style to the NFT fashion project. Fashion Creative Director Chhabra has worked at Nike and Ralph Lauren for over 10 years. Homenko is an award-winning designer and lead artist for Reddit NFTs, and Kim is the co-founder of Mue Studio with over a decade of experience in art direction and visual arts.On the technical side, Mert Beyaz has over four years of blockchain experience and is a former head of engineering at a major cryptocurrency exchange. Ahmet Yildirim has five years of experience in blockchain integration, including at the Ethereum Foundation, and brings expertise in core engine and smart contract development.

Pantera believes that fashion will become more important in the virtual world than in the real world. Digital fashion has a wider and more accessible audience. Individuals can more easily support emerging designers and brands and express themselves in a more personal way. We’re excited to co-lead Space Runners’ latest funding round as they emerge as the best way for fashion and blockchain to intersect.

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