New investment brings company value to $4.3 billion with plans to conquer the U.S. market.
Undisputed King of Sports
No matter how you twist and turn things, the biggest and most popular sport in the world is football. With an estimated following of 4 billion people, it is dominating all sports in South America, Africa and Europe. However, it’s not only played on the green field as the market for fantasy play is bigger than ever.
Sorare is one of the best to ever do it and is the largest sports-based NFT platform by sales volume, according to NonFungible.com.
The Paris based fantasy football and digital collectible platform just announced a $680 million Series B raise, the largest ever in the NFT space.
Connecting Fantasy With Real Life
Founded in 2018, Sorare is an online game where players buy officially licensed cards representing football players used to build teams where fantasy league players compete against each other. The outcome is based on the players’ performance in real-life games, connecting fantasy with real life.
$150 Million Since January
The NFT market has exploded during 2021, making collectible and sports-related NFTs more popular than ever.
Currently having as many as 600,000 registered users, Sorare says it has traded as much as $150 million in digital cards since January. The most expensive card is of Cristiano Ronaldo, which was sold for 245,072 euros ($287,420.44) on March 13.
Eyes Set on the NBA, NFL and MLB
With the new investment at hand, Sorare plans to use the money to accelerate growth and venture outside the world of football.
In a company press release, CEO Nicolas Julia opens up about the plans to enter the U.S. market in the near future. With big domestic markets such as the NBA, NFL and MLB, there are definite market shares to take using the already proven business model.
SoftBank Among the Investors
The companies that chose to invest in the round include SoftBank Vision Fund, LionTree, Bessemer Ventures, IVP, Hillhouse and Atomico.
“We think NFTs represent a new paradigm in the collectability, usability, and engagement with assets,” said Michel Combes, president of SoftBank Group International.
As a first time investor in Sorare, SoftBank’s Latin America fund also contributed. Combes revealed that SoftBank can use its relationships with U.S. and Latin American football leagues and its investment in broadcaster Televisa-Univision, to increase Sorare’s user base.
Hosting Popular NFTs
Sorare raised a $50 million Series A last February, led by venture capital firm Benchmark. The platform is already host to NFTs from some of Europe’s most popular teams, including Bayern Munich, Juventus, Real Madrid and Liverpool.