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Ronaldo Said Among Backers in Cricket NFT Startup Fundraise

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(Bloomberg) -- An online platform for trading officially-licensed digital cricket collectibles, is raising about $100 million in a new funding round with backers including Cristiano Ronaldo, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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Venture capital firms B Capital Group and Insight Partners are leading FanCraze’s Series A round, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The fundraising for the blockchain startup, previously known as Faze Technologies, has additionally attracted South Korea’s Mirae Asset, the people said.

An announcement could be made as soon as in the coming weeks, another person said. Details of the fundraising such as size could still change as deliberations continue, the people said.

Representatives for B Capital, Insight and FanCraze declined to comment, while a representative for Mirae Asset didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A media representative for Manchester United, Ronaldo’s football club, didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment outside normal business hours.

FanCraze was co-founded by Stanford University alumnus and former investment banker Anshum Bhambri and two others in 2021. The startup sealed a partnership with the International Cricket Council, the sport’s official governing body, to create exclusive cricket non-fungible tokens on the Flow blockchain. FanCraze released its first packs of NFTs and launched the marketplace in January, according to its website.

Last year, FanCraze raised $17.4 million in seed funding led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from Coatue and Sequoia Capital India as well as Dapper Labs, a press release on Dapper’s website shows.

(Updates with Ronaldo investment in first paragraph and new name throughout.)

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