Faze Technologies has raised $17.4 million in its latest seed funding round, led by Tiger Global.
The funding round also included participation from Sequoia Capital, Coatue, as well as Dapper Labs, Samsung Next, Courtside Ventures, and Vivek Ranadive’s Bow Capital. Sequoia and Tiger Global have invested in many startups, several of which have evolved into unicorns.
The Mumbai-based Faze, founded by Wall Street veteran Anshum Bhambri, IPL founding COO Sundar Raman, and Kushagra Kohli, aims to use the funds towards hiring more people and building its product and user base. The startup, which offers a platform for fans to collect, use, play and interact with cricket through NFTs, has teamed up with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in order to create exclusive digital collectibles (using non-fungible tokens (NFTs)) for cricket to launch on the Flow blockchain.
“We are delighted to be able to continue to provide new ways for fans to celebrate the game we all love. Cricket has an outstanding track record of using technology to connect fans with our sport and this is our next evolution, from trading cards to video NFTs where fans can own their favourite plays from ICC events,” said Finn Bradshaw, ICC Head of Digital.
It has also entered into a strategic partnership with Dapper Labs.
According to Bhabri, the CEO of Faze, their mission is to build the metaverse for cricket. The metaverse is a concept that has been brought to the forefront by Mark Zuckerberg (something that made Facebook rebrand itself to highlight its focus on building the metaverse).
“We are in a unique position to combine NFTs, gaming, financial utilities, and money-can’t-buy experiences to create a platform for fans to collect, use, play and interact with cricket through NFTs on Flow. Every NFT purchase can be made directly within seconds via a mobile wallet, or a credit/debit card without the need for a crypto wallet, to ensure that every transaction is as easy as possible,” Bhambri said.
Faze hopes that this will help consumers deep-dive into the greatest moments from ICC events, as they have access to both current content and a rich archive of historical moments, as well as have a way to be a part of the in-match action.
With true ownership and the ability to showcase the NFTs on social media, pack buying, and the peer-to-peer trading experience, and a play-to-earn universe where the core mechanics and economy are built around owning, crafting, and battling of NFTs, the startup hopes to create a direct connection between the creator and the consumer.