Rario, an NFT platform dedicated to cricket, said on Thursday it had raised $120 million in series A funding. The round was led by the venture capital arm of Indian fantasy sports firm Dream Sports.
With the new funding, and a partnership with Dream, the firm will now offer cricket-themed NFTs to Dream Sports’ 140 million users in India. Given regulatory scrutiny towards cryptocurrencies in India, the platform will only accept fiat, not crypto, it said in a blog post.
Previous investors in Rario include venture capital firms Presight and Kingsway, as well as blockchain gaming major Animoca Brands.
Rario corners the cricket NFT market
The Singapore-based company claims to have the largest share of cricket NFT rights globally. It recently signed a multi-year, exclusive partnership with Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association.
The firm also has exclusive partnerships with 6 international cricket leagues, along with the rights to over 900 cricketers.
Rario said it has sold over 50,000 tokens since its launch, with the United States, UK, Australia and India being its top-four markets.
Ankit Wadhwa, co-founder of Rario, said that cricket is the second-largest sport in the world, with over 1.5 billion fans.
Cricket an untapped market?
While sports tokens are not a novel concept, the space has been largely dominated by basketball or football. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the largest players in the sports NFT market, with its Top Shot NFT marketplace seeing sales of nearly $1 billion since its 2021 launch.
The NBA has also ventured into creating dynamic NFTs, although the project has met its own set of problems.
Several European football clubs also capitalized on the growing popularity of NFTs. English Liverpool recently launched a collection of hero-themed NFTs.
But cricket has not seen similar forays, despite the sport having massive followings across Asia, Australia and Africa. Rario could be poised to capitalize on this untapped market by offering cricket-themed collectibles.
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