21 Sept 2021

Our Investment in Sorare: The Future of Collecting and Fantasy Sports

From coins to cards and everything in between, the desire to collect is one of the most basic human impulses. Today, the total number of global collectors is estimated to be 200 million and the worldwide collectibles market is estimated to be $370b. Collecting can be a quest, a source of meaning, an emotional experience, a financial hobby, or any combination of these. Whatever the motivation, collecting as we understand it today is at least a centuries old tradition.

But while physical collecting is familiar and well understood, collecting in the digital world remains in its infancy. We all know that we spend more of our lives online, which means more of the experiences and emotions captured so effectively by collections will be created there. And while we’ve long had systems to optimise the collection of physical assets, it is only with the technological innovation of the non-fungible token (NFT) standard that it is now possible to collect in a digital realm.

When Nicolas and Adrien learned about the NFT standard, they decided to bet their careers on it and bring together their passions of blockchain technology and football in 2018 to found Sorare. Transforming the massive consumer categories of sports card collecting and fantasy sports, they have built a game where players buy officially licensed digital football cards in the form of NFTs and use them to participate in engaging games of fantasy football to win more cards or Ethereum. Sorare exists at the intersection of digital collecting and fantasy sports — Sorare NFTs are not only digital collector’s items, but they have an underlying utility in an engaging game.

Since launching in beta at the end of 2019, Sorare has experienced remarkable growth. Over $150m of sales volume has been traded on the platform so far this year, with 600,000 users registered on the platform from more than 170 countries. Sorare has partnered with more than 180 football clubs, including recently partnering with LaLiga, which marked the first time one of the top 5 football clubs has signed a major NFT partnership. Sorare now has the majority of the top 100 football clubs in the world under license, including global clubs such as Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain FC, and Juventus FC. On top of this, a vibrant and engaged community has formed around Sorare, including Sorare Data, the Sorare Discord, and a weekly Sorare podcast.

We believe that NFT gaming has the potential to be even larger than today’s gaming industry and transform it by giving players true ownership in the games and communities they love. By building on Ethereum, Sorare is leveraging the most open, decentralized and secured blockchain in order to fulfill their vision of creating an open ecosystem of games. While today Sorare has built an exciting new way to collect and play fantasy football, the longer-term vision is about building a great ecosystem of experiences for Sorare card owners. We can’t wait to see this growing ecosystem continue to evolve, driven by the Sorare team and their engaged community.

We are thrilled today to announce our participation in Sorare’s $680m Series B to help them continue to scale to new heights. Sorare will use today’s investment to enable more people than ever before to enjoy the collection & gaming experience by harnessing the power of community to build an open ecosystem of games.

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