Sorare is a global fantasy football game where managers can trade official digital collectibles, manage their teams, compete every weekend to earn prizes. Founded in October 2018, Sorare is on a mission to make crypto fun and accessible to all through fantasy football.
The Paris-based startup has now announced a $4 million (€3.5 million) seed round led by e.ventures along with Partech, Fabric Ventures, Semantic Ventures, World Cup Champion André Schürrle, and existing investors.
The investment will enable the company to significantly scale up its team, as demand for their football gaming cards is booming thanks to a heavily growing user base. Sorare also plans to finalise licensing partnerships with five leagues and 150 clubs by year-end.
Global fantasy football game
Football collectors have been able to collect and trade player cards in the physical world for decades. Sorare’s fantasy football game is built with a new class of collectibles: officially-licensed digital player cards. The team’s vision is to become the go-to game to increase the enjoyment of live football. They are making it happen by enabling users to play fantasy football with skin in the game, as they can truly own and trade their digital player cards.
The company has built an online marketplace where users can freely buy and sell scarce digital collectibles representing football players ranked based on their performances in real matches. The Ethereum blockchain is used to establish who owns the digital card at any given time and secures the cards’ digital scarcity. It creates a new level of trust and freedom for gamers.
More than 90 football clubs from Europe, the United States, and Asia have partnered with Sorare to issue officially licensed cards so that football fans can collect and play with their favorite players, amongst them Juventus, Atletico, and Olympique Lyonnais. Building a presence in Sorare offers those clubs exposure to a global audience and a new revenue stream.
Multiplied by 10x
The game was launched in March 2019 by two experienced entrepreneurs, Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort, that saw the potential of blockchain technology to create a new category in the sports gaming industry. The company, which is already profitable, has sold over $1 million worth of cards across 50 countries in just over 12 months. After being ranked the number one blockchain game according to nonfungible, Sorare has continuously increasing its community within the wider field of mainstream football fans and collectors. The trading platform has multiplied by 10x its volume from $30,000 in December 2019 to $350,000 in June 2020.
Nicolas Julia, CEO at Sorare, explained: “People are buying $370 billion of collectibles per year. Sorare’s mission is to make fantasy football global and rewarding with a new kind of collectibles: digital football cards. We are creating the easiest way for football fans to leverage their football knowledge and play with skin in the game. We are delighted to be backed by an incredible syndicate of investors who will help us drive the adoption of fantasy football forward.“
Christian Miele, Partner at e.ventures, commented: “We are incredibly excited to be backing Sorare on its way to becoming the dominant global fantasy football game. Rarely have we come across a team that achieved so much in such a small amount of time, be it around delivering a flawless gaming engine, partnering with over 90+ clubs in less than 12 months. We are certain of the opportunity that blockchain applications bring with them, in terms of assigning clear ownership of digital assets. This relatively new development within the wider tech space in combination with a strong fantasy gaming engine has tremendous potential and we are very proud to have the chance of supporting the team in making their ambitious vision a reality.”
Andre Schurrle, Football World-Cup Champion with Germany, explained: “As a kid, I loved collecting my favorite football players in the Panini albums. When I met Nicolas and Adrien, I was immediately impressed with the vision for the future of football collectibles: digital cards of football players that you can use in a fantasy sports game. The cards are beautiful, the fantasy game is for fans that love this amazing game all around the world. I will be helping them along the journey to build the most exciting fantasy football game.”
Sia Houchangnia, Partner at Seedcamp, comments: “When we decided to back Sorare, a little over a year ago, our decision was largely driven by the quality of the founding team and our excitement for their ambitious vision of building a global fantasy football game leveraging the unique properties of the blockchain. The team’s execution since then has exceeded all our expectations. Sorare has already secured partnerships with some of the most prestigious clubs worldwide and built a highly engaged community of players. This team is moving at lightning speed and we can’t wait to see what they achieve next following this strong raise.”
Thomas France, Co-Founder of Ledger, added: “Sorare is one of the few projects leveraging what is great about the Blockchain — provably scarce digital assets — while abstracting its complexity for a mainstream audience. Their 10X growth between December 2019 and June 2020 despite the turbulent times is a testimony to their approach.”
Main image credit: Sorare