French startup Sorare has announced that it has raised a significant funding round. SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 has led a $680 million Series B round, which values the company at $4.3 billion.
Sorare has built a fantasty football (soccer) platform based on NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. Each digital card is registered as a unique token on the Ethereum blockchain. Players can buy and sell cards from other players. Transactions are all recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.
What makes Sorare unique is that it has partnered with 180 football organizations, including some of the most famous clubs in Europe, such as Real Madrid, Liverpool and Juventus. It creates a barrier to entry for other companies in the space.
Sorare generates revenue by issuing new cards on the platform. Players can then buy those new cards and add them to their collection. They can also manage a squad of players and earn points based on real-life performances.
Over time, the value of a card can go up or down. That’s why players often buy and sell cards from other players — there are even third-party websites that help you track auctions. A total of $150 million worth of cards have been traded on the platform since January. Sorare doesn’t take a cut on player-to-player transactions right now.
While the volume of transaction is quite big, there is still a lot of potential for user growth. There are currently 600,000 registered users and 150,000 users who are buying a card or composing a team every month. Sales have grown by 51x between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021.