Sorare, smarting from the success of building a fantasy soccer platform in 2018, a game built by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort has raised a significant funding round, with SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 leading the $680 million Series B round, which values the company at $4.3 billion.
In the Sorare game, each online player will act as manager with the user team composing of virtual teams of five soccer players, using blockchain cards on the Sorare platform. The teams are then ranked based on the real-world soccer pitch performances of the players chosen, with points attributed, just like the traditional fantasy football. In this game, players can buy and sell cards from other players on the Sorare platform, with all transactions recorded using the Ethereum blockchain. Many of the cards used are digital collectibles, which portends that blockchain technology use will imply that the digital cards will have what is called ‘provable scarcity’.
Sorare has also partnered with at least 180 football organizations, including famous European clubs like Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain, Liverpool, Juventus and AC Milan. There is though a barrier for entry for other companies in the space. The game may not be available yet in African countries like Nigeria and Ghana.
The company plans to with the new funding round, expand its reach to new areas in sports, open a U.S office, hire more staffs and make more marketing campaigns. With this trend, there is an inkling of more partnership announcements in the soon future.
Other firms like Atomico, Bessemer Ventures, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP and Liontree, aside SoftBank’s Vision Fund team, will also be actively involved in the round, while startup’s existing investors like Benchmark, Accel, Headline and various business angels will continue their train of investment.
So how does Sorare generate revenue on its own?
The major revenue generating method of Sorare is by the issuance of new cards on the platform with have to be purchased by credit card or Ethereum transfer. Users (Fantasy league Managers) purchase the new cards; add them to their collection for use. The users also manage a team squad of players and then earn points based on the real life performances of the selected players.
The value of a card can either go up or down depending on a number of factors. When players make purchases of cards from other players, third-party websites help users track the auction but Sorare doesn’t take a cut on player-to-player transactions at the moment. It is estimated that over $150 million worth of cards have been traded on the Sorare platform from January 2021 to September.
On the Sorare platform, there are about 600,000 currently registered users, with 150,000 of them buying a card or building a new team every month. The sales on the platform have spiraled in growth to 51 times between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021.
Nicolas Julias, the CEO of Sorare explained the sporadic growth when he said:
“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 are thrilled by the success we have seen so far, but this is just the beginning. 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”.
For a French startup as Sorare, Series B is a massive funding round and Sorare digital currency patronization is an exciting prospect for lovers of cryptocurrencies.