Sorare raises a $50m Series A to help fans own their football passion online
Paris, February 25th
Sorare, the digital collectible football platform, today announces that it has received $50 million in Series A financing, led by Benchmark, with additional funding from Accel and new business angels. The angels include Redditco-founder Alexis Ohanian, Vayern media CEO Gary Vaynerchuk and Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann. The financing brings Sorare’s total funding to $60 million. The capital will be used to fuel the growth of the community, accelerate the hiring of a world-class team and launch a mobile application.
Fantastically real collectibles Football is a commondenominator 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. Sportscard 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.
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 tradable digital cards, Sorare is designing a collective fantasy football experience where you can manage your favorite players and hone your passion to earn prizes. Anyone, anywhere, can connect with the beautiful game on Sorare.
Growing across the globe
The company, which is already profitable, has experienced an explosive 52% month-on-month volume growth over the 3 months. They wen from $60K worth of cards traded on the platform in January 2020 to $4.2M 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. Crypto’s next consumer application 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.
Sorare joins the ranks of culturally impactful companies and innovative brands in the Benchmark and Accel portfolio, including Twitter, Snap, Instagram and Spotify.
Nicolas Julia, CEO at Sorare explained: “ Sorare was born from our love for football. We’re building a gaming experience fueled by passion where fans can connect with football and a global community. On Sorare, they can truly own the game. Today is a watershed moment – both for Sorare as a company and for our community – that will enable us to touch new markets and radically improve our product to become the game within the beautiful game.”
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!”
Gerard Piqué, Strategic Advisor at Sorare, explained: “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.”
Christian Miele, Partner at e.ventures, commented: “Sorare is a truly category-defining company and has the potential to become one of the biggest consumer tech success stories out of Europe. In less than 2 years since our pre-seed investment, the Sorare team has built from scratch a complex economy within an incredibly compelling game. Most importantly, Sorare can count on one of the most vibrant communities of early adopters we’ve ever seen. The growth has been astonishing and there’s an entire ecosystem of games and content being built around Sorare’s football cards. This is one of the most exciting businesses we’ve had the chance to work with and we are incredibly excited to have Benchmark and Accel joining the journey.”
Founded in 2018, Sorare was created by football fans for football fans. Through blockchain digital collectibles and its global fantasy football, the company is on a mission to become ‘the game within the game’.
Sorare is transforming online sports fandom and giving its community a new way to connect to the clubs and players that they love. The platform had a monthly card sales volume of over €3,5M in January 2021 across 120 countries. Based in Paris, Sorare is funded by a world-class team including Benchmark, Accel Partners, e.ventures, footballers Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann and André Schürrle.
Benchmark invests in and works alongside entrepreneurs building startups into transformational companies. We focus on early-stage venture investing in consumer, marketplaces, social, healthtech infrastructure and enterprise software. Benchmark’s five equal general partners take board seats and a hands-on approach to every entrepreneur and company we back, with no junior investment staff. Benchmark’s current portfolio of early-stage venture investments includes private market leaders such as Amplitude, Benchling, Chainalysis, Cockroach Labs, Confluent, Discord, Elastic, HackerOne, Hipcamp, and Nextdoor; recently public companies such as Asana, Uber, Elastic, Stitch Fix, Snap, Twitter, New Relic, and Zendesk; and franchise companies from Juniper to eBay to Red Hat. Benchmark’s offices are in San Francisco and Woodside.
Accel is a global venture capital firm that is the first partner to exceptional teams everywhere, from inception through all phases of private company growth. Arista, Atlassian, Braintree, Celonis, CrowdStrike, Deliveroo, DJI, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Freshworks, Jet, Kayak, Lynda.com, Qualtrics, Rovio, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, Swiggy, Tenable, UiPath, and Venmo are among the companies the firm has backed over the past 35+ years. We help ambitious entrepreneurs build iconic global businesses. For more, visit www.accel.com or www.twitter.com/accel
Founded in 1998, e.ventures is the first tech-enabled global venture capital firm and invests in consumer and software companies from early to growth stage. The firm has combined their extensive, truly global network with local experience and insight to support over 200 startups globally with notable US investments including Angie’s List, TheRealReal, Shipt, Segment, goPuff, and Acorns and European investments including Farfetch, Deposit Solutions, CityDeal/Groupon, Natural Cycles, Staffbase, and Blinkist. For more, visit www.eventures.vc or twitter.com/eventuresVC
Image: Team SORARE (c) SORARE