The fantasy soccer NFT trading platform, Sorare, has announced the completion of its Series B funding round led by SoftBank. Rumours of the investment have been rolling since May of this year, but having been finalized, the value of Sorare has increased to $4.3 billion by the investment.
Alongside SoftBank, Liontree, IVP, Eurazeo, D1 Capital, Bessemer Ventures, and Atomico are all investing in the NFT startup together with its existing supporters, Headline, Accel, Benchmark participating in the funding round.
Sorare allows football fans to trade NFT trading cards of their superstar players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann, which are situated on the Ethereum blockchain. The Paris-based startup, which was founded in 2018, has gathered about $150 million altogether from cards sales so far in 2021.
In the second quarter of 2021, it was reported that the monthly active users paying on the platform have increased by 34 times compared to the second quarter of 2020. It was also reported that the quarterly sales increased by 51 times in the aforementioned period. Currently, the platform can boast 600,000 users and has also licensed more than 180 soccer organizations including, Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Juventus.
The Co-founder and CEO of Sorare, Nicolas Julia, said in a statement that “The Sorare Platform is born out of pure love for football and our witty expertise in tech. We saw a massive potential that the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) evolution and blockchain hold as a way to create a deeper connection between football fans, football clubs, and the footballers.”
The plan of Sorare now is to inject more funds for its expansion into fantasy sports, specifically for marketing campaigns with athletes and partners and for hiring. Also, the firm is looking to open its first office in the United States.
Another Fintech Firm Backed by SoftBank
So far this year, though SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 primarily, a host of fintech firms has been backed by the firm.
Recent funding includes the $33 billion funded neobank, Revolu, OPay, a Nigerian-based payment company, DriveWealth, a firm that supports fractionalized investing in the U.S. Stocks. Together with these is Mercado Bitcoin, a Brazilian crypto exchange funded through its Latin America Fund.
The CEO and COO of SoftBank Group International, Marcelo Claure, said Sorare is at the convergence of two exciting industries – fantasy sports and digital collectibles.
“It is quite evident from the amazing growth of Sorare this year alone as the whole football fans globally have been waiting to be reconnected to the game they love,” he added.