SoftBank Leads $680M Series B for NFT Soccer Platform Sorare

Paris-based Sorare will use the new funding to open its first US office and to explore other opportunities outside of soccer, as well as hire new employees.

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key takeaways

  • With this new investment, the company said it is now valued at $4.3 billion
  • In February, the company previously raised $50 million in a Series A round

The soccer-focused crypto platform Sorare has closed one of Europe’s largest Series B funding rounds at $680 million, led by SoftBank.

Investors in the round also include participation from Atomico, Bessemer Ventures, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP and Liontree, as well as previous investors such as Benchmark, Accel and Partech, and business angels including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and football players Gerard Piqué, Rio Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann and César Azpilicueta, Sorare said. 

In February, the company previously raised $50 million in a Series A round. With this new investment, the company said it is now valued at $4.3 billion.

The company was founded in 2018 as an online game for users to buy officially licensed cards of soccer players, which are traded in the form of NFTs. Players can build teams and play against each other through the platform and face outcomes based on the players’ outcome in reality during a game. 

“When my co-founder and I first laid out our vision for Sorare in the summer of 2018, our ambition was to create a new game that could unlock the limitless potential of non fungible technology. Because of our shared passion for the beautiful game, creating a fantasy football product was the perfect place to begin our journey,” Nicolas Julia, co-founder and CEO of Sorare said in a blog post

Sorare
Sorare founders Nicolas Julia (left) and Adrien Montfort; Source: Sorare

Paris-based Sorare will use the new funding to recruit new talent in Europe and the US, sign new partnerships, accelerate on mobile and marketing, and expand into new sports in 2022, beyond the world of soccer. 

Although Sorare already holds a handful of partnerships with over 50 national teams and clubs, including soccer teams like Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Juventus, it also plans to use the funding to launch new partnerships with the top 20 soccer leagues onboard and the top 50 national teams, Julia said. 

Earlier this month, the company also announced a partnership with LaLiga soccer league, which is home to the top professional soccer teams in Spain and is one of the top soccer leagues in the world. 

In general, the NFT space has taken the world by storm. In recent months, certain NFTs have sold for $69 million, along with their marketplaces such as OpenSea reporting monthly trading volumes of over $3 billion.

During a fireside chat at Messari’s Mainnet conference on Monday, OpenSea Co-Founder Devin Finzer said that despite the surging popularity in art and collectibles on the marketplace, gaming could be the “next frontier” for non-fungible tokens, Blockworks reported.

“I actually still believe this. A lot of games have been incredibly successful. I really do think gaming is the next frontier for NFTs,” Finzer said at the conference.


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