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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sorare, a French fantasy soccer platform whose "cards" are non-fungible tokens registered on the Ethereum blockchain, raised $680 million in Series B funding at a $4.3 billion valuation led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Why it matters: This is the largest-ever VC deal for a company in the NFT space, which either will prove to be Bitcoin circa 2013 or pet rocks circa 1975.

Other investors include Atomico, Bessemer Ventures, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP and Liontree.

The bottom line: A big differentiator for Sorare, and a reason for the huge raise, is the company buys exclusive rights from soccer clubs like Real Madrid and Juventus.

  • It also differs from "traditional" NFT startups in that it's focused on fantasy sports, which is inherently transitory, rather than on collectibles.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

Dapper Labs raises $250M, strikes NFT deal with LaLiga

Dapper Labs, the company behind the NBA Top Shot digital collectibles, announced today it has raised $250 million in fresh funding and struck a deal to work with Spain's LaLiga to create NFTs with the soccer league.

Why it matters: It shows that venture firms remain bullish on the underlying notion of infusing collectibles with digital technology.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

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