Reports said that Sorare, a marketplace for nonfungible token (NFT) trading cards, has raised $680 million in a Series B funding round led by Japanese fintech giant SoftBank, resulting in a revised valuation of $4.3 billion for the platform.
It has been reported that the latest funding will help expand Sorare’s portfolio of football player NFTs by partnering with more football leagues and associations.
However, in early September, the French NFT-based trading platform secured its first soccer league partnership with La Liga in addition to having NFT collaborations with Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, and other top-tier soccer teams. Sorare also plans to diversify its NFT-based portfolio offerings to other fantasy sports.
The report said that existing investors and high-profile business angels participated in the funding, including Benchmark, Accel, and Headline. New investors include Atomico, Bessemer Venture Partners, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP, and LionTree. In July, SoftBank had led a $532-million funding round for Sorare.
Nicolas Julia, the CEO of Sorare, denied the funding claims, which were initially fueled by insider information. Although the football community has readily accepted the NFT marketplace, the United States National Football League (NFL) has recently barred teams and members from participating in NFTs or any other form of crypto-related partnerships. An anonymous NFL member said that the new guidelines prohibit clubs from selling, promoting, and advertising blockchain and digital assets in any form until further notice.
Thus, in addition, mainstream fintech company such as Visa, have described NFTs as a promising medium for fan engagement as the market registered $2.5 billion in sales during the first half of 2021.