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Sorare raises US$680m in SoftBank-led funding round

Soccer NFT platform says Series B financing values the company at US$4.3bn.

21 September 2021 Rory Jones

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  • Sorare also gets investment from Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann, Rio Ferdinand and César Azpilicueta
  • Company will use funding to open US office, make key hires, and move into other sports outside of soccer

Soccer-focused non-fungible token (NFT) platform Sorare has raised US$680 million in a Series B funding round led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

The Paris-based company has claimed that the latest investment, which has been hailed as one of Europe’s biggest ever Series B rounds, gives the blockchain digital collectibles and fantasy platform a valuation of US$4.3 billion.

In addition to SoftBank, the latest round also saw investment from soccer players Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann, Rio Ferdinand and César Azpilicueta. There was also participation from Atomico, Bessemer Ventures, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP and Liontree, as well as from existing investors Benchmark, Accel and Headline.

As well as the investment, Marcelo Claure, who is the chief executive of SoftBank Group International and chief operating officer of SoftBank Group, will join Sorare’s board of directors.

“Sorare sits at the intersection of two really exciting industries in digital collectibles and fantasy sports,” said Claure. “We’re pleased to be joining them on this journey and are really excited to see what the company will achieve in its next phase of growth.”

Sorare plans to use the new funding to open its first US office and venture into other sports outside of soccer, as well as hire across key roles and launch marketing campaigns with partners, athletes and media companies.

Nicolas Julia, Sorare’s chief executive and co-founder, added: “Sorare’s game is born from our love for football and our expertise in tech. We saw the immense potential that blockchain and NFTs brought to unlock a new way for football clubs, footballers, and their fans to experience a deeper connection with each other.

“We believe this is a huge opportunity to create the next sports entertainment giant, bringing Sorare to more football fans and organisations, and to introduce the same proven model to other sports and sports fans worldwide.”

Sorare holds a number of partnerships with soccer clubs such as Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Juventus, while it also secured a deal with La Liga earlier this month, making the Spanish soccer competition the first of Europe’s top soccer leagues to sign a major NFT agreement.

According to NonFungible.com, Sorare is the largest sports NFT platform by sales volume. The blockchain company has seen US$150 million worth of cards traded on its platform since January 2021.

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