The fantasy soccer platform Sorare raises USD 680 million in a Series B financing round. The largest Series B financing round in European history – Sorare is thus a new big player in sports entertainment and is valued at $4.3 billion.
SoftBank leads the round; other investors include Atomico, Bessemer Venture, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP and Liontree, as well as existing investors Benchmark, Accel and Headline. Footballers Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann, Rio Ferdinand and César Azpilicueta also participated in the round. Former German international André Schürrle, as well as the manager of the German national soccer team, Oliver Bierhoff, are already invested in the company.
The investment is the largest Series B financing round in European history; Sorare is now valued at $4.3 billion. With the fresh capital, Sorare plans to further develop the gaming experience of the fantasy football platform and expand into other sports, allowing every fan to celebrate their passion and immerse themselves in the world of NFT Fantasy Sports.
A new way to celebrate soccer
Sorare is creating an entirely new way for soccer fans to celebrate their passion and connect with clubs and players. To do this, the company is operating at the intersection of the fast-growing Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) market ($2.5 billion already transacted this year), the sports card market ($5 billion), and the fantasy sports market, which is expected to reach $48 billion by 2027. Thus, the company is creating a multi-billion market in perspective.
The trading cards are non-fungible tokens based on the Ethereum blockchain. The cards are therefore limited, unique, forgery-proof and transparently traceable. Thus, each card is a secure and transparent digital asset. On the Sorare platform, users buy, exchange and trade the digital trading cards of soccer players and coaches. In addition, users can set up their cards in a fantasy soccer game, compete against other players worldwide, and win prizes. By trading limited edition digital collectibles, Sorare creates a unique gaming experience that connects fans with players and clubs in the real sports world.
Sorare is growing
The company has already grown tremendously this year, with $150 million worth of cards traded on the platform since January. German users were responsible for a turnover of eight million US dollars. The number of monthly active paying Sorare users increased 34-fold between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021. Quarterly revenue increased 51-fold over the same period. Germany now has 40,000 registered users with a monthly growth rate of 26 percent.
“Sorare is at the intersection of two exciting segments: digital collectibles and fantasy sports. The immense growth of Sorare this year alone shows that soccer fans around the world have been eagerly waiting for the ‘game within a game’ that Sorare offers. We are excited to join Sorare on this journey and look forward to seeing what the company will achieve in its next phase of growth.” – Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group
Sorare is now the leading company in the rapidly growing market for soccer NFTs: a total of over 600,000 users are registered on the platform, and 180 clubs – including FC Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Madrid, Liverpool FC – as well as the French Football Federation (FFF) and the German Football Association (DFB) are licensed partners of the company. Sorare’s stated goal is to bring on board the 20 biggest soccer leagues and the 50 biggest soccer federations worldwide – not only in men’s soccer, but also in women’s soccer. With this new generation gaming experience, soccer clubs and leagues are expanding their international brands and tapping into new fan groups, such as crypto enthusiasts from the US or Asia. Sorare thus opens up a new, transparent and sustainable source of revenue for sports organizations around the globe.
Growth in the soccer business continues to be driven forward
Using the funding, Sorare is continuing to drive growth in the soccer business, while also looking to replicate the model across other sports and launch marketing campaigns with partners, athletes and media companies. Sorare also plans to open its first office in the U.S. soon and launch new initiatives to support young people’s sports activities and fund startups in the field. The company will also expand and strengthen its own ambitious team. Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group, will therefore move to the company’s board in the future.