Sorare filled its coffers in a US$680mln funding round as it advances talks with the Premier League over an NFT-based fantasy sports gaming and collectibles platform.
Paris based Sorare hopes to agree a rights deal with the Premier League, adding to an existing deal with La Liga, as well as targeting American users via basketball, baseball and American football.
Footballers Rio Ferdinand, Antione Griezmann, and Gerard Pique are all investors in Sorare which now, with its US$680mln Series B funding, is valued at US$4.3bn.
Pique has been involved with the platform as a strategic advisor whilst Ferdinand and Griezmann were named earlier this year, in February, as participants in a US$50mln Series A round – potentially positioning the early-investing soccer stars for a windfall.
Sorare is an Ethereum-powered NFT platform that supports a digital trading cards and fantasy team game aimed at sports fans.
The idea is that the platform’s users can buy player cards, which are NFTs of varying rarity, and can assemble teams to compete in ‘five-a-side’ fantasy sports tournaments to win prizes (which include other, valuable, NFTs).
The game is free to play though players will need to field a team of five player NFTs, albeit new players can earn free ‘common’ player cards through a customer onboarding process.
The cards can then be bought and sold in and out of collections, with Eth acting as the transaction currency.
Along with La Liga clubs the platform has signed up a range of clubs, a total of 177 presently, including Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Boca Juniors, Inter and AC Milan, and Liverpool.
The Series B funding was backed by lead investors SoftBank, LionTree, Bessemer Ventures, IVP, Hillhouse and Atomico.