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Binance-backed Web3 gaming startup Unagi receives funding to expand fantasy sports platform • InNewCL

Binance-backed Web3 gaming startup Unagi receives funding to expand fantasy sports platform • InNewCL

#Binancebacked #Web3 #gaming #startup #Unagi #receives #funding #expand #fantasy #sports #platform #InNewCL Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Web3 gaming company Unagi today announced a €4.7 million ($5 million) seed funding round as the French startup prepares to launch its NFT fantasy sports platform through soccer (“Soccer”) ) to expand beyond the basketball field.

Unagi, which does not yet have its own website, was founded in Paris by Charlie Guillemot, son of Ubisoft co-founder Yves Guillemot and former studio manager at Owlient, a free-to-play games studio acquired by Ubisoft in 2011; and Remi Pellerin, also formerly of Owlient.

Both Guillemot and Pellerin left Owlient in 2021 to start as co-CEOs Unagi, launching their first game last April.

Ultimate Champions, as their inaugural title is called, allows players to create and manage their own soccer teams with players from multiple clubs across the continent. To date, Unagi has signed deals with around 45 clubs in Europe, including current English Premier League title contenders Arsenal, and games in Ultimate Champions are synchronized with real games, allowing players to receive rewards based on their chosen players’ performances in the real world can earn.

As a self-proclaimed web3 company, these rewards include in-game currency called Champ Tokens, which can be purchased, earned, and spent on the platform, and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in the form of digital player cards, which can be collected and sold. Unagi earns a 5% commission from all financial transactions on the platform.

Ultimate Champions Digital Cards Photo credit: Unagi

Sporting chance

Unagi said its user base has now passed the 220,000 mark, a development that prompted crypto giant Binance to invest $4 million in the startup through its VC and accelerator spin-off Binance Labs back in November, though this was a private token sale. Instead of a stock investment – ​​Binance bought Champ $4 million worth of tokens. At the same time, Binance also confirmed plans to deploy Ultimate Champions on the Binance-led BNB chain, which Unagi tacitly confirmed today in late January.

Because of this traction, Unagi has partnered with European basketball competition EuroLeague and plans to debut a basketball version of Ultimate Champions next month.

The latest €4.7 million infusion is fully equity-led and was led by early-stage Finnish VC firm Sisu Game Ventures with participation from Sfermion, UOB Ventures, Signum Capital, 2B Ventures and Machame.

Previously, last April, Unagi raised a €1.5 million pre-seed funding round from several VCs and angels, including German national soccer player Mario Götze. And in late 2021, Unagi also completed a $1.7 million private token sale from crypto-focused investors like Polygon and GSR.

So this effectively means that Unagi has raised a total of €6.1 million ($6.5 million) in equity funding and $5.7 million through token sales.

Of its 220,000 registered users, Pelleri said about 70,000 are actively playing each month – the vast majority via free-to-play rather than paying for in-game assets. However, he was quick to point out that it was still very early days and that the company, with its fresh cash injection, plans to expand its international team from 25 to 40 employees and to develop partnerships with other sports clubs and leagues.

Additionally, there is an opportunity in the future to expand beyond sports into the broader gaming realm. What form that ultimately takes is not clear, whether it’s an RPG, a first-person shooter, or something else entirely.

“What’s really cool about web3 is that it’s very early days, the industry hasn’t found a really compelling business model yet, there’s a lot of trial and error, a lot of experimentation,” Pelleri told InNewCL. “Any type of existing game can be converted to Web3, because the essence of Web3 games is owning in-game assets, and that’s what we’re exploring.”

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