The company also announced the formation of OneFootball Labs, a joint venture with Animoca Brands and Liberty City Ventures to accelerate its expansion into Web 3.
Soccer-focused media platform OneFootball raised $300 million in a series D funding round that was led by blockchain fund Liberty City Ventures as the company looks to grow in the Web 3 sector.
The money raised will support continued expansion for the Berlin-based company as well as the new OneFootball Labs – a joint venture with Liberty City Ventures and Hong Kong-based gaming platform Animoca Brands, the company said on Thursday. As part of the deal, Animoca Brands co-founder and Executive Chairman Yat Siu will join the boards of both OneFootball and OneFootball Labs.
OneFootball Labs aims to enable soccer clubs, leagues, federations and players to create new digital fan experiences on a blockchain.
Other investors in this funding round included Dapper Labs, German investment company DAH Beteiligungs, Quiet Capital, RIT Capital Partners, as well as Animoca Brands, among others.
“The potential of introducing more than 100 million users to relevant NFTs for the first time has the potential to be truly groundbreaking,” said Mik Naayem, co-founder and chief business officer of Dapper Labs, the company behind NBA Top Shot, a popular set of digital collectibles. “We see this as a catalyst for mass scale Web 3 adoption for the whole industry.”
OneFootball is not the only sports brand that has been making strides into Web 3. Adidas teased in November about a partnership with The Sandbox metaverse, and Nike late last year purchased RTFKT, an NFT (non-fungible token) fashion collectibles startup targeting the virtual world. Also late in 2021, Premier League champion Manchester City said it was teaming up with Sony to launch a metaverse that mimics Etihad Stadium, its home stadium.