Candy Digital, a non-fungible token (NFT) startup majority-owned by Fanatics, has completed a $100 million Series A financing round co-led by Insight Partners and SoftBank Vision Fund 2 at a $1.5 billion valuation.
The startup plans to use the funds to expand its NFT offerings across the global sports landscape and accelerate the growth of its workforce.
Candy Digital is building the official NFT ecosystem for Major League Baseball (MLB) for fans and collectors to purchase, trade and share officially licensed NFTs. The company’s other partners include the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the Race Team Alliance (RTA) and several college athletes.
The startup launched earlier this year with a roster of founding board members that included Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin and Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz. This month it introduced the initial version of its NFT platform and unveiled three new products for the upcoming MLB playoffs and World Series.
Other participants in the Series A included Connect Ventures, a partnership between entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency and venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, and Athletes Syndicate in partnership with Chaos Ventures, which includes participation from current and retired athletes. NFL Hall of Fame member Peyton Manning also participated as an investor.
Candy Digital’s “partnership with MLB and MLBPA is a strong indication that fans and collectors want to engage with their favorite sports, music and art in new ways,” said Lydia Jett, a partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement.