OneFootball, a German football media application, has raised $300 million in a Series D round to grow the company's presence on Web3 and develop new features on its platform.
According to a Thursday announcement, OneFootball and nonfungible token (NFT)-centric Animoca Brands created a joint venture called OneFootball Labs. The new platform will "enable clubs, leagues, federations and players to provide digital assets and fan-centric experiences based on blockchain technology." Furthermore, fans will be able to obtain and store virtual collectibles using their email address and credit card.
The financing round was led by Liberty City Ventures, with participation from blockchain platforms and venture capital firms, including Animoca Brands, Dapper Labs, DAH Beteiligungs GmbH, Quiet Capital, RIT Capital Partners, Senator Investment Group, and Alsara Investment Group.
Animoca Brands will provide its expertise and network in blockchain, NFTs, gaming and the metaverse to help OneFootball develop new products and services that will increase digital fandom while generating new income streams for the football industry. In a statement, Lucas von Cranach, founder and CEO of OneFootball, said:
“We believe the future of football away from the stands and off the pitch will be decentralized and built on Web3, giving back the ownership of data and digital assets to the fans."
Murtaza Akbar, the managing partner at Liberty City Ventures, highlighted OneFootball's 100 million monthly active users as an opportunity to take advantage of blockchain technology for a massive community of football fans.
Earlier this year, Cointelegraph noted that increasing interactivity and ownership of virtual items are some of the metaverse's most outstanding features. OneFootball might be jumping on both opportunities to provide more fans greater access to the “beautiful game.”
Manchester City, the English Premier League champions, announced their entrance into the Metaverse by signing a three-year agreement with Sony to provide virtual reality to professionals for image analysis and skeletal-tracking technology from Hawk-Eye. Neighbours Manchester United have also entered the Web3 ecosystem after a partnership with Tezos, announced on Feb. 10.