Monday December 4, 2023

Fanatics-Owned NFT Venture Cuts Third of Workforce

  • Candy Digital is also backed by entrepreneur and VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk.
  • The platform is the official NFT collectibles partner of MLB and MLB Players Inc.
Examples of sports and media inspired NFTs created by Candy Digital 
Candy Digital
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Fanatics-owned Candy Digital has laid off more than a third of its workforce of roughly 100 employees. 

The NFT platform — which operates independently from Fanatics — was valued at $1.5 billion in October 2021 following a $100 million Series A funding round co-led by New York-based VC firm Insight Partners and Softbank Vision Fund 2.  

  • Candy Digital is also backed by entrepreneur and VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk.
  • The platform is the official NFT collectibles partner of MLB and MLB Players Inc.
  • In January, it launched a secondary marketplace for officially licensed MLB NFTs.
  • The marketplace generated $2.7 million in sales during its first weekend. 

Candy Digital’s layoffs are the byproduct of a tech industry that has struggled to drive profits at the end of 2022 due to the recent decline in cryptocurrency and ongoing inflationary pressures. 

Earlier this month, Dapper Labs — the creator of NBA Top Shot — reduced its workforce by 22%. The company, which had approximately 600 employees before the layoffs, deemed the cuts to be “necessary for the long-term health of our business and communities.” 

Wealthy Parent 

In March, Fanatics announced a $1.5 billion funding round valuing the company at $27 billion

The round was led by the NFL, which invested $320 million in fresh capital in Fanatics — a company initially known for its sports merchandise but which has expanded its footprint in sports.

Fanatics is reportedly in talks to acquire German sports betting company Tipico.

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