SoftBank has made its latest nine-figure bet in sports, leading a $680 million investment round in soccer NFT and fantasy sports platform Sorare.
The investment, one of Europe’s biggest Series B rounds ever, values Sorare at $4.3 billion. Sorare said it would use the funds to acquire licenses and grow its team beyond the 30 employees it has now.
D1 Capital, Liontree, IVP, Eurazeo, Atomico, and Bessemer Ventures joined the round, plus previous investors Accel, Benchmark, and Headline, as well as soccer players Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann, Rio Ferdinand, and César Azpilicueta.
The platform is capitalizing on its explosive growth.
- Over $150 million in digital card trades have been made on the platform since January, head of operations Thibaut Predhomme told GamesBeat.
- Second-quarter sales grew 51-fold year-over-year.
- Monthly active users multiplied by 34 in that interval.
SoftBank’s previous bets in sports have paid off.
The company invested $250 million in UFC parent company Endeavor in 2016 at a valuation of $5.5 billion. Endeavor, which went public in April, now has a market cap of $11.5 billion.
SoftBank also put $1 billion on Fanatics in 2017 at a $4.5 billion valuation. Fanatics has since quadrupled in value to $18 billion after a $325 million funding round in August.