Paris-based ‘digital collectible’ football platform Sorare has raised €40 million ($50 million) in Series A funding to boost its growth.

The financing round was led by Benchmark, with additional funding from Accel and new business angels. The angels include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Gary ‘Vee’ Vaynerchuk and football players Rio Ferdinand and Antoine Griezmann.

The French startup says it is already profitable, but that it will use the fresh cash injection to grow its community, ramp up hiring and launch a mobile app.

Founded in 2018, Sorare also said it has grown from $60,000 worth of cards traded on the platform in January 2020 to $4.2 million in January 2021, across 120 countries. It has partnerships in place with the likes of PSG, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus.

Nicolas Julia, CEO at Sorare, said: “Sorare was born from our love for football. We’re building a gaming experience fueled by passion where fans can connect with football and a global community. On Sorare, they can truly own the game. Today is a watershed moment – both for Sorare as a company and for our community – that will enable us to touch new markets and radically improve our product to become the game within the beautiful game.”

Gerard Piqué, ‘Strategic Advisor’ and an early investor at Sorare, commented: “As world football has shifted from local supporters to global fanbases, football fans are looking for new ways to be connected to the game, the players and other fans. Nicolas and the team have a unique gaming experience with real-world impact, bringing fantasy to reality. I’m looking forward to helping the team and the Sorare community connect with more football clubs and leagues.”

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