- Series B investors include Galaxy Interactive and Sapphire Sport
- GreenPark has agreed deal with Immutable to create NFT marketplace
- First NFT drop is expected within weeks
Social sports gaming developer GreenPark Sports has raised US$31 million to accelerate its plans for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and its vision of a multi-sport metaverse.
The Los Angeles-based startup was founded in 2018 and offers an app with multiple fan ‘universes’ based on major sports and esports competitions in which users can play games, enter contests and collect items for their avatar.
Its Series B funding round was led by existing investors Galaxy Interactive, Sapphire Sport, SignalFire and Advantage, with newcomers including Nassef Sawiris’ NNS Group, Gaingels, DH.VC, and FTX’s Alameda Research.
The GreenPark app went into early access at the start of this year and the company has so far agreed major partnerships with the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), Spanish soccer’s LaLiga and the National Basketball Association (NBA). For example, in ‘NBA Land’, users can compete against each other in prediction contests and decorate their avatars with officially licensed NBA gear such as jerseys and hats.
GreenPark is one of several firms banking on growing demand from sports fans for immersive, digitally-native experiences that comprise the ‘metaverse’ – a persistent, virtual environment that acts as a digital counterpart to the physical world. The company was named as one of SportsPro’s ‘20 sport tech ideas to invest in now’ earlier this year.
“GreenPark Sports is committed to creating the de facto new fan experience, providing unique and innovative ways to engage today’s modern sports fans,” said Ken Martin, co-founder and chief executive at GreenPark Sports.
“We’re grateful to have so many thought leaders as strategic partners to help bring our shared vision to life, building on the momentum and insights we’ve gained during our early access phase. We’ll continue to push even further with GreenPark Sports as a fan-first approach that presents new expansive social experiences for them to connect, celebrate and activate their fandom into a multi-sport metaverse.”
The investment will be used to enhance GreenPark’s product offering and allow it to expand into the burgeoning market of NFTs. The company is working with Immutable to build an NFT marketplace based on the Ethereum blockchain that will allow users to buy and sell collectibles and items, some of which can be used on digital avatars.
GreenPark says it does not want its NFTs simply to be collectors’ items to be used for economic gain but would rather they be digital items that have “purpose, utility and a deeper sentimental meaning”. This might be a commemorative jersey for a user’s favourite NBA team.
The first drop is anticipated in the coming weeks and NFTs are expected to be a core part of the GreenPark application by the start of 2022.