Blockchain soccer collectibles platform Sorare has announced a $4 million seed round led by VC firm e.ventures. Partech, Fabric Ventures, Semantic Ventures, Cygni Capital, and even World Cup winner André Schürrle are among others who invested in the startup.
Sorare, which runs on the Ethereum blockchain, allows fans to purchase and trade scarce digital football cards to compete in fantasy soccer leagues and earn prizes. Having been in a beta invite-only stage up to late 2019, the firm saw an increase in sales from $30,000 in December 2019 to $350,000 in June 2020.
The firm announced it would use this latest investment to “double the size of our team by year-end” and has begun recruiting designers and full-stack engineers for its Paris-based office.
Sorare’s chief aim is now to “double the football clubs under license by year-end” as part of its larger aim to “sign with the top 20 football leagues in the world”. 76 clubs are currently listed as under license on the Sorare website following recent deals with Korea’s K-league and European clubs such as AS Roma and Atletico Madrid.
The startup received a further vote of confidence last month after incubator Ubisoft Entrepreneur Labs announced it would continue to support it grow. The program allows tech companies to “benefit from Ubisoft’s experience and expertise” and has a strong focus on blockchain-enabled platforms. But that experience sharing might be mutual. Ubisoft also recently launched its own blockchain collectible based on the Rabbids franchise.
Other blockchain collectible companies for soccer include Socios.com, Fantastec SWAP and Animoca Brands. Even formula 1 is getting into the game. In the U.S. the conventional sports collectible company Panini is venturing into the blockchain space and CryptoKitties founder Dapper Labs is working with the NBA and UFC.