French blockchain outfit Sorare has raised $680 million for its NFT fantasy football trading card game of the same name. Some of the investment will be spent bringing the currently browser-based game to mobile via an app.
Sorare is a fantasy football game where players can buy, sell, trade and manage a virtual football team with NFT player cards. The company was founded in 2018 by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort and utilises blockchain technology based on Ethereum. At the time of writing, Sorare includes over 180 officially licensed football clubs, including Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, more than 6,000 licensed footballers, and over 600,000 registered users.
The funding round was led by SoftBank and featured participation from Atomico, Bessemer Ventures, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP, and Liontree. The new investors joined alongside previous investors such as Benchmark, Accel, and Partech, and angel investors including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and several football players, such as Rio Ferdinand and Antoine Griezmann.
Funding from footballers
The closure of the Series B funding round marks both the largest funding raised by a French tech company and the largest Series B funding round in Europe.
Earlier this year, Sorare raised $50 million in Series A funding that was used to rapidly accelerate development and expand the team. To date, the company has raised a total of $783 million, leading the way in the blockchain space.
Sorare will use the capital raised to build upon its rapid growth by signing new partnerships, accelerating development, expanding the team further, and branching into new sports from 2022.
The company also revealed several new programmes to ‘give back’ to its community. The initiatives will support community-led football, provide financial backing for young, underprivileged entrepreneurs and support female representation in sports by actively investing in women’s football.
This story was first published on PocketGamer.biz.