Sorare NFT fantasy football platform valued at $4.3 BILLION after mega funding round
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Sorare, a French fantasy football and NFT digital collectible platform, has just benefitted from a massive US$680 million Series B raise, led by Japanese multinational investor SoftBank.
The wider crypto market might be on shaky ground right now but the NFT game is clearly still strong as we push deeper into the second half of the year.
This funding round is the largest ever in the non-fungible token (NFT) sub-sector of crypto, and, according to a press release, it’s also Europe’s biggest-ever Series B.
The raise, also contributed to by LionTree, Bessemer Ventures, IVP, Hillhouse and Atomico, now sees the three-year-old company valued at a unicorn-bolting US$4.3 billion.
Some notable football stars also joined the investment round, including FC Barcelona’s Gerard Pique and former England international and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
Sorare has some pretty huge plans for its NFT-based fantasy sports games, which include signing the the top 20 world football leagues, top 50 football associations, and expanding into other sports, such as basketball, American football and baseball.
The company says it is hiring a world-class team and plans to open a US office to help boost its growth.
More than US$150 million worth of its NFT football cards have traded on the fantasy-sports platform since January. And the number of monthly active, paying Sorare users grew by 34X between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021, with quarterly sales increasing by 51X over the same timeframe.
Very happy to announce that after short negotiations – Siebe Schrijvers #15 has put pen to paper and signed the contract to join Sorare Road to Glory gallery. Training photos to follow. #Sorare @SorareHQ pic.twitter.com/aPrO1UPXk5
— Sorare Road To Glory (@SorareRTG) September 17, 2021
The platform has now managed to attract more than 600,000 registered users and has licensed players from over 180 football clubs and associations, including Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus and the French and German Football Federation.
“We are thrilled by the success we have seen so far,” said Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare. “But this is just the beginning. We believe this is a huge opportunity to create the next sports entertainment giant.”
Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International, meanwhile said: “It’s evident from Sorare’s amazing growth this year alone that football fans around the world have been eagerly waiting for the ‘game within the game’ that Sorare provides.”
According to Sorare, its users (called Managers), create five-player line-ups consisting of: a goalkeeper, a defender, a midfielder, a forward, and one other outfield player.
These squads can then be entered in various different tournaments with varied requirements.
As per other fantasy-sports games, the players’ performance in real-life games reflect in the performance of their “fantasy” digital (in this case NFT) counterparts.
All entered lineups are ranked in a leaderboard and the higher a Manager’s position, the better (according to scarcity) the tradable NFT card prizes they earn.