Sorare, the unicorn that mixes football, NFT and blockchain

Sorare is a start-up founded in 2018 by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort. The publisher of football card games based on the Ethereum blockchain has achieved the largest fundraising in the history of French Tech. Back to the story of the 5th French unicorn.

A fantasy game based on the Ethereum blockchain, a cryptocurrency, Sorare allows players to collect cards and be rewarded according to their real-world performance. Having successfully raised record funding of nearly 600 million euros, the start-up, now the 5th largest unicorn in France, has succeeded in bringing Panini collectible football cards back into vogue. An addictive game for fans of football and baseball and soon basketball. Find out how the start-up entered the world of French unicorns and ended up being valued at $4.6 billion.

The history of the Sorare start-up

A few years ago in France, the two co-founders Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort discover NFTs. The two Parisian entrepreneurs quickly discovered the potential of this technology and immediately decided to create NFTs in the form of playing cards representing soccer players. This business idea came to them first of all because they are football fans, but also because they worked in the ecosystem blockchain for some time. In September 2018, Sorare was born. The first agreement was reached in October 2018 with the Jupiler League, the first division of the Belgian championship. First fundraising of 550,000 euros arrived in May 2019, especially supported by entrepreneur Xavier Niel.

The adventure continues for the next French unicorn: in July 2020, a second fundraising of 4 million dollars arrives, notably supported by André Schürrle (German world champion) and the investment funds E.Ventures and Partech. This marked the beginning of the popularity of Sorares, who signed two months later a partnership contract with PSG. This is when players such as Antoine Griezmann and Gerard Pique invest in February 2021 to raise €40 million. After 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 app has won over many sports fans, especially football fans. On the platform, it is possible to buy cards thanks cryptocurrency Ethereum. After the cards are taken, the player forms a team of five of them. It is an entertainment platform where every user has a place in a ranking. The latter is done as follows: the performance of the players is measured in reality and each team is assigned an overall score. This is how the ranking is done: the place in the ranking gives rewards, which can be a certain amount of Ethereum or other trading cards.

The cards are NFT (Non Fungible Tokens) or non-fungible tokens. It is therefore possible to buy, resell or exchange them. They have a completely different rarity. It’s a real economy compared to a game. What made Sorare so successful is also this $680 million fundraising, a record for French technique. This round of funding allowed the start-up to sign a contract with MLB (Major League Baseball), which expands its spectrum of action. The French unicorn also aims to create a contract with the NBA to attract basketball fans.

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

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