The NFT-based fantasy sports platform Sorare raised $ 680 million in a financing round, setting a European record. The Series B round was led by Softbank. Top players from the football leagues are also invested in the French company.
Sorare made history. The company was able to raise 680 million US dollars in a financing round and thus close the capital-strongest European Series B round ever. As a result, the NFT platform has risen to become a four-fold unicorn: the company now has a valuation of 4.3 billion US dollars. The company intends to use the funds to continue to grow, position itself more strongly on the US market and expand the NFT to other sports in the future.
Sorare rides the NFT wave
Hardly any other company shows the NFT hype as clearly as Sorare. Since January alone, digital trading cards worth 150 million US dollars have been traded on the platform, with the number of active users increasing 34 times in just one year. The NFT trading cards hit a nerve. Also in Germany, where meanwhile 40,000 registered users try their hand at being soccer managers and want to benefit from the increases in value of rare trading cards. The success of the company has also got around among footballers. In addition to Gerard Piqué and Antoine Griezmann, André Schürrle and Oliver Bierhoff are also invested in Sorare.
After conquering the European market, the financial injection should flow into the growth of the platform in other key markets, primarily the US, and licenses for other sports. As far as football is concerned, the company has basically got what it can get. Around 180 clubs, including everything that has a reputation for being – from Real Madrid to Liverpool FC to AC Milan – as well as the German (DFB) and French football associations (FFF) are license partners of Sorare. In addition, some clubs are likely to join in the future. The aim is to integrate the 20 largest leagues and 50 largest associations in both men’s and women’s football, like the company in one Press release announces.
From old to new
Sorare’s recipe for success is actually not all that new. After all, Panini booklets have always sparked an obsession with collecting. The French start-up has only transferred the concept into the digital age. Football tickets can be bought with the crypto currency Ether and compete against each other in teams of five. The values of the standard cards and the correspondingly valuable NFT, which are divided into Limited, Rare, Super Rare and Unique, are based on the actual performance of the players. If you leave the field as a winner – you have bet on the right players – depending on the tournament, winnings in ether and rare trading cards are waiting for you.
The concept worked, as not only the most recent round of financing shows. The fantasy soccer platform has now attracted 600,000 registered users. If you consider that Sorare has been poaching “only” in football so far, there is still some untapped growth potential that could be tapped through Europe’s toughest Series B financing round.