The sports industry has been one of the fastest adopters of the NFT revolution in the market. This industry has unlocked the major utility of NFT in sports thereby driving further the collectors’ economy.
On Wednesday, September 22, Dapper Labs, the creator of the popular fantasy basketball NFT game – NBA Top shot – raised another $250 million. The recent funding led by Coatue comes at a valuation of $7.6 billion.
Interestingly, some of the big players like Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC also participated. Among the existing investors are giants like Andreessen Horowitz, GV and Version One Ventures. Speaking to CNBC, Roham Gharegozlou, Dapper Labs’ CEO said:
“Part of this funding will go toward expanding functionality on NBA Top shot, developing a mobile product, and connecting the digital collecting experience with the experience of a fan showing up to a live game, or even supporting their team on social media”.
Also, the news comes just a day after the fantasy football game Sorare raised $680 million in funding led by SoftBank.
Thus, in two days itself, these two sports-focused NFT startups managed to raise a staggering $900 million. This shows a massive appetite of investors as the industry continues to evolve at a rapid rate.
This has led to the rapid growth in the valuations of the sports-focused NFT startups to multiple billion dollars.
Dapper Labs Delving Into the Football World
After having tasted success with its basketball fantasy game, Dapper Labs is now trying to step into the football world. The platform has entered a partnership with Spain’s top soccer league La Liga to bring a similar experience like NBA Top Shot but for soccer fans.
Thus, Dapper Labs is pitching a direct competition to the NFT Fantasy football game, Sorare. Interestingly, Sorare had also partnered with La Liga earlier this month to create digital cards for players from the league.
Besides, Sorare also said that it has been approached by a number of U.S. sports organizations. This rivalry can bring exciting growth and innovation to the NFT sports industry.
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