French startup Sorare raised $680 million in its Series B funding round, raising its valuation to $4.3 billion.
The fantasy soccer NFT platform plans to use the capital injection to fund several developments. These include expanding to new sports, and opening an office in the US, as well as raising headcount. The company will also invest in marketing campaigns and work towards further partnerships with professional sports organizations.
This round of funding was also led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund team, who also led Sorare’s $530 million Series A. Other participants include Atomico, Bessemer Ventures, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP and Liontree, with some returning investors such as Benchmark, Accel, and Headline.
Sorare built a fantasy soccer platform based on non-fungible tokens (NFTs), where each player’s digital card is registered as a unique token on the Ethereum blockchain. The company generates its revenue by issuing new cards on the platform, which users buy and add to their collection. These users can then manage a squad of players and earn points based on their real-life performances.
As speculative tokens, their value can also fluctuate, making them appealing to trade. There are even third-party websites to help track auctions. According to the company, $150 million worth of cards have been traded on the platform since January. At this point, Sorare is not taking a cut on player-to-player transactions.
Despite large transaction volume, the company admitted there was still a lot of potential for user growth. While there are currently 600,000 registered users, 150,000 users are buying a card or composing a squad every month. Between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021, sales grew 51-fold, the company said.
Although not unique in offering a tokenized version of players, Sorare has managed to distinguish itself by partnering with 180 soccer organizations. These include some of the most famous clubs in Europe, such as Real Madrid, Liverpool and Juventus.
Earlier this month, Sorare announced a partnership with Spain’s La Liga to launch NFTs for its players. The partnership also means that Sorare now has some of the top 100 football clubs in the world under license.
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