Cristiano Ronaldo backs cricket NFT company – Times of India

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MUMBAI: Even as the Indian cricket ecosystem is taking its own time waking up to the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), one of the world’s best-known footballers Cristiano Ronaldo has already taken the plunge.
Cricket fans are in for a pleasant surprise as Cristiano-led company CR7, along with a clutch of leading global investors are investing $100 million (about Rs 760 crore) in FanCraze, the city-headquartered cricket NFT company. This is expected to be one of the largest-ever series-A funding rounds in the NFT space in Asia.
NFTs are unique digital items store stored on a blockchain, the same network that runs cryptocurrencies. NFTs act as tradeable certificates of authenticity for digital art, memorabilia or fan merchandise.
New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, B Capital, Tiger Global, Coatue Management, Sequoia Capital India and other investors are learnt to be on-board alongside Ronaldo’s company.
“The capital will be used to integrate new sports relationships and to fund FanCraze’s continued expansion of its metaverse across the cricket landscape,” a source said. FanCraze plans to grow its R&D lab, user experience team, gaming studio and marketplace platforms, alongside scaling up of engineering, marketing and customer-relations teams.
The startup has already tied up with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) as their official digital collectibles partner. Leading Indian cricket players Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal have also signed up with FanCraze.
Cricket has one of the largest fan followings in the region. Both the television and internet-based streaming services took off on the heels of live cricket allowing category leaders to give cricket fans innovative and compelling ways to tune into all the action.
“There’s a lot more coming in the next few weeks,” said a person in the know. While football’s most famous Number 7 jersey is signing up to be part of the FanCraze ecosystem, chatter is already doing the rounds that cricket’s most famous Number 7 jersey is also set to partner the company soon.



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