Sorare, the digital collectible football platform, today announces that it has received €40 million in Series A financing, led by Benchmark, with additional funding from Accel and new business angels. The angels include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Vaynermedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, football players Antoine Griezmann and Rio Ferdinand. The financing brings Sorare’s total funding to €48 million, and will be used to fuel the growth of its community, accelerate the hiring of a world-class team and launch a mobile application.
Football is a common denominator for more than 4 billion people globally but today, fans feel further away from the game they love than ever before. As we spend more time online, the need for connection has significantly shifted to digital experiences. Sports card collectibles have long helped fans celebrate their love of the game, and now they can experience a whole new world online. Sorare is leading the new era of online football fandom, where fans can live football moments and true connections like never before.
Founded in 2018, the company’s mission is to build ‘the game within the game’ and to give fans the platform to celebrate, share and own their football passion. Through tradeable digital cards, Sorare is designing a collective fantasy football experience where you can manage your favourite players and hone your passion to earn prizes. Anyone, anywhere, can connect with the beautiful game on Sorare.
“Sorare was born from our love for football”, explained Nicolas Julia, CEO at Sorare, “We’re building a gaming experience fueled by passion where fans can connect with football and a global community.”
The company, which is already profitable, has experienced an explosive 52% month-on-month growth over the past 12 months, going from €50K worth of cards traded on the platform in January 2020 to €3.5 million in January 2021 across 120 countries.
More than 120 football clubs have launched their digital cards on Sorare, with all European Champions actively participating in the growth of the game. Partnerships with Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus make Sorare the first digital collectible platform to offer cards from Europe’s top five league champions. The company’s ambition is to onboard the top 20 football leagues globally. This next-generation gaming experience allows leagues and clubs to expand their international brand by reaching an untapped audience of fans. Sorare is effectively opening up a new traceable and sustainable revenue stream for them.
Sorare collectibles are backed by blockchain technology to provide transparency and portability into other games. More importantly, the blockchain Ethereum enables the act of collecting in the digital space by creating digital scarcity through “non-fungible tokens” (NFT). It secures the passion of fans and creates a new level of trust and freedom for gamers who can freely trade their assets over the internet.
With this investment, Sorare joins the ranks of culturally impactful companies and innovative brands in the Benchmark and Accel portfolio, including Twitter, Snap, Instagram and Spotify.
Peter Fenton, General Partner at Benchmark commented: “We’re thrilled to partner with Sorare as their lead Series A investor. The company combines the global passion for football collectibles with the excitement of real-world play in fantasy league tournaments. The founders early work in blockchain technology gave them the unique insight into a killer application for a new NFT – real players in real games creating enduring value for a digital artifact. Their explosive growth codifies the utility of these technologies in everyday life.”
Andrei Brasoveanu, Partner at Accel added: “Sitting at the intersection of fantasy football and sports collectibles, Sorare is revolutionizing the way fans across the world engage with and enjoy sports. In just a year, Sorare has built an incredible viral community and secured partnerships with more than 130 football clubs, including five European Champions. This impressive growth is a testament to the ambition and determination of Nicolas, Adrien and the entire Sorare team. We’re excited to join Sorare on the next stage of their journey and help build the leading digital sports collectibles platform worldwide!”
Christian Miele, Partner at e.ventures, commented: “We have been impressed by Nicolas’ and Adrien’s vision from day one. For the first time in human history a digital collectible holds a utility and can be used in a wide field of applications to attract soccer fanatics, collectors, and investors alike. This is why Sorare is best positioned to create one of the largest next-generation entertainment companies in the world.”
Gerard Piqué, Strategic Advisor at Sorare, commented: “As world football has shifted from local supporters to global fanbases, football fans are looking for new ways to be connected to the game, the players and other fans. Nicolas and the team have a unique gaming experience with real-world impact, bringing fantasy to reality. I’m looking forward to helping the team and the Sorare community connect with more football clubs and leagues.”