A $4.3 billion valuation has been placed on a French football sticker company.
Sorare, a French gaming business that allows players to collect and sell virtual football stickers, announced on Tuesday that it has raised a record $680 million (580 million euros) in funding, valuing the company at $4.3 billion.
The sum raised in a single private fundraising round shattered previous records, making the three-year-old company France’s most valued startup.
“Our goal is to be the first sports entertainment company,” co-founder Nicolas Julia told AFP.
“With this funding, we will be able to focus on our product ahead of a prospective IPO in the coming years,” he added.
Users can purchase and trade photographs of football players whose worth varies according on their performance on the field in the Sorare game, which leverages blockchain technology.
The game combines traditional football sticker collecting with online football manager games and stock market trading.
Its tiny stockholders include professional footballers Gerard Pique, Rio Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann, and Cesar Azpilicueta, but its new investors are largely specialized venture capital funds like Atomico or Bessemer Ventures.
Sorare, a Paris-based startup, claims to have 250,000 active members.