Animoca Brands and OneFootball announce OneFootball Labs - new joint venture to bring football to blockchain
28 April 2022: Animoca Brands, the company advancing digital property rights for gaming and the metaverse, today announced OneFootball Labs, a joint venture with OneFootball, the world’s largest football media platform, and Liberty City Ventures. OneFootball Labs will enable clubs, leagues, federations and players to release digital assets and fan-centric experiences based on blockchain technology.
Yat Siu, the co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, is joining the boards of both OneFootball and OneFootball Labs.
OneFootball today also confirmed the closing of its Series D funding round of US$300 million to support its future global growth and expansion into Web3. The round was led by Liberty City Ventures with support from Animoca Brands, Dapper Labs, DAH Beteiligungs GmbH, Quiet Capital, RIT Capital Partners, Senator Investment Group, and Alsara Investment Group.
The raise underlines OneFootball’s proposition as the biggest global football media platform, with more than 100 million monthly active users. OneFootball delivers comprehensive football content from hundreds of leagues and competitions worldwide, including a growing portfolio of free and pay-per-view live streamed football matches leading to more than 15,000 livestreams and on-demand content clips in 2021 alone.
The OneFootball Labs joint venture is set to deliver a new era of football fan consumption, providing accessible, affordable, and unique fan experiences that will drive mass adoption of blockchain technology in football. These products will be offered at different price points to make them widely accessible and fans will also be able to purchase and store digital collectibles with just their email and a credit card.
Animoca Brands will bring its deep expertise and network in blockchain, NFTs, gaming and the metaverse to assist OneFootball to create new products and services that will amplify digital fandom and create new revenue streams for the football industry.
Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands said: "Over the last year, the sporting universe has made progress in harnessing the potential of NFTs and gaming, offering fans new digital experiences based on the important principles of true digital ownership and decentralization. Animoca Brands is proud to have played a role in nearly every significant milestone in the development of true digital property rights via NFTs. Bringing Web3 to the biggest sport in the world - football - through our participation in the OneFootball Labs joint venture is a match made in heaven."
Lucas von Cranach, founder and CEO of OneFootball said: “We believe the future of football away from the stands and off the pitch will be decentralised and built on Web3, giving back the ownership of data and digital assets to the fans. OneFootball and OneFootball Labs will transform the digital experiences for football fans, giving them more access, more ownership and bringing them even closer to the game we all love, in a way that’s never been done before.”
Murtaza Akbar, managing partner at Liberty City Ventures, said: “With OneFootball’s 100M monthly active users, we have a special opportunity to harness the benefits of blockchain for a huge community of football fans offering them products they can truly own, and bringing them closer than ever to the game they love.”
OneFootball’s goal is to fuel the world’s football obsession. Reaching 100 million football fans worldwide every month, OneFootball is the most popular football media platform for the new generation of football fans. It is the only app with a fully personalised home stream for non-stop news of your favourite club and the only company to offer single live football matches in-app on a free and pay-per-view basis. In the spirit that football is more than just 90 minutes, OneFootball operates a 24-hour newsroom to provide fans across the world with the comprehensive football content they crave - from statistics and live scores of hundreds of leagues and competitions worldwide to breaking news, highlight clips, live streaming, transfer rumours and features. Native integration from OneFootball’s network of over 300 independent content creators, clubs, federations, and broadcasters adds an additional 120k+ pieces of content per month. OneFootball is available in 12 languages and is the best rated sports app in the world, based on millions of App Store and Google Play reviews. Founded in 2008, the company has its headquarters in Berlin and regional offices in London, New York, Mexico City, Singapore, Cairo, Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro.
In December 2020, OneFootball acquired Dugout to reshape the football digital media landscape and form the world's largest owned and operated digital football media business. The acquisition saw Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Real and Olympique de Marseille join OneFootball as shareholders. In March 2021, OneFootball welcomed three additional shareholders with the German FA, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur.
OneFootball was one of the first apps on the iOS App Store in 2008, and now with this joint venture, the company aims to be at the forefront of a new era of the internet. It will help clubs, leagues, federations and players build more direct relationships with fans, creating new digital experiences and utility, with digital asset sales expected to become an important revenue stream for many teams and leagues in the next five years (source: PwC Sports Outlook 2022).
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About Animoca Brands
Animoca Brands, a Deloitte Tech Fast winner and ranked in the Financial Times list of High Growth Companies Asia-Pacific 2021, is a leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification that is working to advance digital property rights. It develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including the REVV token and SAND token; original games including The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes; and products utilizing popular intellectual properties including Disney, WWE, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, Power Rangers, MotoGP™, and Formula E. The company has multiple subsidiaries, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Bondly, Lympo, Grease Monkey Games, and Eden Games. Animoca Brands has a growing portfolio of more than 170 investments in NFT-related companies and decentralized projects that are contributing to building the open metaverse, including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Dapper Labs (NBA Top Shot), Yield Guild Games, Harmony, Alien Worlds, Star Atlas, and others. For more information visit www.animocabrands.com or follow on Twitter or Facebook.
Tracey Foschini, Headland Consultancy
Charlotte Wilkins-Smith, Headland Consultancy