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CryptoKitties Owner Dapper Labs Adds Ex-AppLovin CLO Shipman (1)

June 10, 2021, 9:30 AM; Updated: June 10, 2021, 3:24 PM

Dapper Labs Inc., a digital collectibles startup behind popular non-fungible tokens like CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, has hired a former top lawyer for mobile gaming company AppLovin Inc. as its first chief legal officer.

Scott Shipman confirmed to Bloomberg Law that he joined Dapper Labs earlier this year as its first in-house attorney responsible for legal, compliance, human resources, and government affairs.

His LinkedIn profile shows that Shipman joined the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company in April, shortly after Dapper Labs closed a $305 million fundraising round led by New York-based investment manager Coatue Management LLC.

Dapper Labs, whose other investors include venture capital firms, actors Ashton Kutcher and Will Smith, and more than a dozen professional athletes, is one of several companies specializing in NFTs, a fast-growing digital asset used to buy and sell stakes in all kinds of collectibles, such as art, music, and even baseball cards.

NFTs have been around for years but recently made headlines when the artist Beeple, whose real name is Michael Winkelmann, sold a single piece of digital artwork for $69.3 million in March.

CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based game developed by Dapper Labs in November 2017, allows players to purchase virtual pets that they can breed, collect, and sell.

Shipman’s new C-suite role at Dapper Labs was disclosed this week by Airbase Inc., a San Francisco-based financial technology startup that announced June 8 a $60 million fundraising of its own.

Airbase, which earlier this year hired former Robinhood Markets Inc. general counsel Archit Shah as its first legal chief, noted that Shipman was among several additional individual investors in a Series B capital raising valuing it at $600 million.

Menlo Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that hired its own new top lawyer last year, led the fundraising round for Airbase.

Dapper Labs raised more than $12 million last year for its Flow project, which seeks to use blockchain technology to more easily build consumer products that can be monetized by athletes and entertainers. NBA Top Shot is a collaboration between the company and the National Basketball Association.

Shipman said that Dapper Labs turned to Cooley and Canadian law firm Fasken to advise on its fundraising round earlier this year that valued the company at $2.6 billion. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has also handled trademark and litigation work for Dapper Labs, according to public records.

Dapper Labs has continued to raise funds at a valuation above $7.5 billion, according to news reports.

Shipman left AppLovin, where he was chief legal and privacy officer and head of human resources, ahead of Palo Alto, Calif.-based company’s $2 billion initial public offering this past April. Securities filings show the listing generated $2.5 million in legal fees and expenses for AppLovin’s lawyers at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Following his departure from AppLovin, Shipman said he took some time off during the pandemic to remodel a home in Lake Tahoe and do advisory work for several startups in stealth mode. He has previously worked in-house at Intuit Inc. and eBay Inc., where he was chief privacy officer and global privacy leader, respectively.

Shipman isn’t the only in-house hire in the world of NFTs.

Nifty’s Inc., a Miami-based social media company focused on NFTs backed by Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, hired Olta Andoni as chief legal officer in April. Andoni is a former head of the blockchain practice at Chicago’s Ziliak Law who most recently did financial technology and intellectual property work at Zlatkin Wong.

(Adds information on other lawyers working for Dapper Labs in 11th paragraph and more NFT in-house legal hires in last paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com;
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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