Tensor is climbing to the top of the Solana NFT marketplace totem pole

Just two months ago, NFT trading platform Tensor raised $3 million in a seed round. Fast forward to today, and it is close to regaining its position as the biggest Solana-based NFT marketplace based on market share.

“A lot of momentum came from the announcement,” Tensor co-founder Richard Wu said, speaking about the seed round, which TechCrunch covered exclusively in March. “When it comes to a marketplace, liquidity is key to attract users, and it had a snowball effect on itself.”

Tensor last week reached 45% of Solana’s NFT market share, surpassing Solana-centric NFT marketplace Magic Eden’s 44% share over a seven-day period, according to data collected by Tiexo. While the 1% difference may seem nominal, it’s a huge jump for a fairly new platform up against a giant with almost 200x the users.

Tensor launched a private beta in June 2022 and opened to the public the following month. In March, it had over 30,000 monthly active users, and by April, its MAU was up about 317% to over 125,000, co-founder Ilja Moisejevs said.

Compared to Magic Eden, which has 22 million unique monthly visitors, that makes its share of the market is substantial.

Magic Eden has since regained the top slot for Solana-based NFT volume over the past seven days with 44.2% share, per Tiexo data, and Tensor isn’t far behind at 40.5%. But market share is “not the top priority” for Tensor, Wu said. “For us, market share is a proxy for what we’re building, but at the end of the day, our goal is to grow Solana 10x.”

“I think a lot of people on Twitter like to dramatize things,” Moisejevs said. “They want to see a battle of marketplaces. There’s healthy competition between us [and Magic Eden], but the point we want to drive home is we’re not here to win 80% of a non-existent market. We want us to win, Solana to win, and we will be a bigger business if Solana as a chain does well.”

Solana is the third-largest blockchain for NFTs by sales volume, with over $3.96 billion in all-time sales, according to data from NFT aggregator CryptoSlam. In the past 30 days, Solana NFT sales volume decreased about 24.4% to $73.3 million, the data showed.

In general, the Solana ecosystem is getting stronger, at least compared to six months ago, Wu said. One prime example of that is the people and projects like Mad Lads, he said, adding that at one point, it was a top collection by volume ahead of some Ethereum blue chip collections. “What they’ve done and demonstrated with their launch on Solana is incredible.”