Sorare, a nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace for trading cards, has raised $680 million in a Series B funding round led by Japanese fintech giant SoftBank.
The Series B funding round puts the valuation of Sorare at $4.3 billion. According to the company, the latest funding will help expand Sorare’s portfolio of football player NFTs by partnering with more football leagues and associations.
Earlier this month, the platform secured its first soccer league partnership with La Liga. The platform already has NFT collaborations with well-known soccer teams like Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) who just recently acquired 6-time balloon d’or winner Lionel Messi, Liverpool and other top-tier soccer teams. Sorare also plans to diversify its NFT-based portfolio offerings to other fantasy sports.
Existing investors and high-profile angel investors participated in the funding. The existing investors who participated includes; Benchmark, Accel and Headline.
The 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.
However, Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia denied the funding claims, which was initially fueled by insider information. Although the soccer community has readily accepted the NFT marketplace, the United States National Football League (NFL) recently prohibited 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.
Mainstream fintech companies such as Visa, who recently bought an NFT set called CryptoPunk for $150,000, have described the NFT space as a promising medium for fan engagement as the market registered $2.5 billion in sales during the first half of 2021.