French Gaming Firm “Sorare” Raised $680 Million For Its Soccer NFT Cards

OVERVIEW

  • Sorare, a blockchain-based fantasy soccer game, has raised $680 million in a funding round.
  • According to nonfungible.com, Sorare is the largest sports-based NFT platform by sales volume.
  • SoftBank made its first investment in Sorare through its SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Sorare, a blockchain-based fantasy soccer game, has raised $680 million in a funding round headed by SoftBank, with ex-England international Rio Ferdinand and Spain’s Gerard Pique among the investors, the firm announced on Tuesday.

Sorare, based near Paris, said the investment was worth $4.3 billion. Sorare, which launched in 2018, is an online game in which participants purchase officially licenced soccer cards and form teams to compete against one another, with the outcome determined by the players’ performance in real-life games.

“We think NFTs represent a new paradigm in the collectability, usability, and engagement with assets.”—Michel Combes, president of SoftBank Group International.

According to NonFungible.com, a website that tracks NFT market data, Sorare is the largest sports-based NFT platform by sales volume. It intends to create an office in the United States and diversify its business outside soccer.

“We saw the immense potential that blockchain and NFTs brought to unlock a new way for football clubs, footballers, and their fans to experience a deeper connection with each other.”— Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare.

Mr Julia also posted a tweet reading the same about the fundraiser.

Spanish footballer/defender Cesar Azpilicueta also congratulated the gaming firm for the fund raised and also showed his gratitude for being a part of it in a tweet.

HELPING HAND: THE SOFTBANK

SoftBank made its first investment in Sorare through its SoftBank Vision Fund 2 during the financing round.

SoftBank’s Latin America fund also contributed, according to Combes, because SoftBank can leverage its contacts with US and Latin American soccer leagues, as well as its stake in broadcaster Televisa-Univision, to grow Sorare’s user base in the region.

Soft Bank isn’t new to NFTs: in July, it led an investment in the NFT marketplace Open Sea, and in March, it invested in the decentralised financial platform Juggernaut.

Other investors in Sorare’s round include Accel and Bessemer Ventures, as well as footballers Pique, Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann of France, and Cesar Azpilicueta of Spain.

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