Sorare, a blockchain-based fantasy football game, has announced that it has raised US$680 million in a Series B round, which values the company at $4.3 billion.
The round is the biggest Series B for a European game company, and Paris-based Sorare will use the money to acquire new licenses for its NFT products and hire new people.
Led by SoftBank, other participants included Atomico, Bessemer Ventures, D1 Capital, joining historical investors such as Benchmark, and leading business angels including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and football players Gerard Piqué and Rio Ferdinand.
"We are continuously shifting towards digital experiences to celebrate and hone our passions. This is also true for sports, where clubs, players and their passionate fans are looking for new ways to connect with each other online", said Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare.
How does the platform work?
The French startup has built a fantasy football platform based on NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Each digital card is registered as a unique token on the Ethereum blockchain. Players can buy and sell cards from other players. Transactions are all recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.
Sorare generates revenue by issuing new cards on the platform. Players can then buy those new cards and add them to their collection. They can also manage a squad of players and earn points based on real-life performances.
The company has over 600,000 registered users on the platform and has licensed players from over 180 soccer organisations, including Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus, the French and German Football Federation.
How will the fundraising help?
This fundraising will help deliver Sorare’s key objective: ‘to create the next world champion in sports entertainment, by leveraging NFTs’. To achieve this, it will use the funds to:
- Continue to build a great team — by recruiting the best talents from all over the world.
- Sign new partnerships — bringing the top 20 football leagues onboard and the top 50 national teams.
- Accelerate on mobile and marketing — The fantasy game will be a mobile-first experience that fans globally will know about.
- Expand into new sports — Sorare has received interest from leagues and fans across the globe to replicate the model in other sports. It plans to roll out new sports in 2022.
"Sorare sits at the intersection of two really exciting industries in digital collectibles and fantasy sports," said Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group.