Sorare, the unicorn that mixes soccer, NFT and blockchain

A fantasy game based on the Ethereum blockchain, a cryptocurrency, Sorare allows players to collect cards and be rewarded based on their real-life performance. Successfully raising record funds of nearly €600 million, the start-up now the 5th largest unicorn in France has managed to bring Panini collectible football cards back into fashion. An addictive game for fans of football and baseball, and soon basketball too. Find out how the start-up got into the world of French unicorns and ended up being valued at $4.6 billion.

The story of the start-up Sorare

A few years earlier in France, the two co-founders Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort find out about NFTs. The two Parisian entrepreneurs immediately understood the potential of this technology and immediately decided to create NFTs in the form of playing cards representing footballers. This business idea came to them first because they are passionate about football, but also because they have been working in the blockchain ecosystem for some time. Sorare was born in September 2018. A first agreement arrived in October 2018 with the Jupiler League, the first division of the Belgian championship. The first fundraising of 550,000 euros arrived in May 2019, greatly supported by entrepreneur Xavier Niel.

The adventure continues for the future French unicorn: in July 2020 a second fundraising of 4 million dollars arrives, supported in particular by André Schürrle (German world champion) and by the investment funds E.Ventures and Partech. This marks the beginning of Sorare’s popularity, which he signs two months later a collaboration contract with PSG. It is then that players like Antoine Griezmann and Gerard Pique invest in February 2021 to raise 40 million euros. Following these events, Sorare will continue to grow and become more and more popular.

Sorare, the fantasy game for sports fans

Launched in 2019, the Sorare application has won over many sports fans, especially football. On the platform, it is possible to purchase cards using the Ethereum cryptocurrency. Once the cards are obtained, the player forms a team of five of them. It is an entertainment platform where every user has a place in a leaderboard. The latter takes place as follows: the performance of the players is measured in reality and an overall score is assigned to each team. This is how ranking is done: ranking place gives rewards, which can be a certain amount of Ethereum or other trading cards.

The cards are NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) or non-fungible tokens. You can then buy, resell or trade them. They have a whole other rarity. It is a real economy assimilated to a game. What has decreed the success of Sorare is also this fundraising of 680 million dollars, a record for French technology. This funding round allowed the start-up to conclude a contract with MLB (Major League Baseball), which broadens its spectrum of action. The French unicorn also aims to establish a contract with the NBA to attract basketball fans.

Today, the start-up claims more than one million registered users. The Unicorn hits a $4.6 billion valuation. In 2021, a transaction volume of $325 million was recorded a 40-fold increase in 2020 volume. Sorare aims to become the global leader in entertainment by continuing to build bridges between the digital and physical worlds and expanding into other sports.

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