Stakes said it raised $5.3 million for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) aimed at sports wagering enthusiasts.
Stakes, a New York-based company, wants to increase sports betting by offering a new web 3 experience for those who use NFTs as rewards.
The money was provided by Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, CMS Holdings, LD Capital, Cadenza Ventures, Matrixport Ventures, and Sterling Select Group. Sam Li, a former Vice President of the National Basketball Association (NBA), has been named as a strategic investor and advisor.
Stakes graduated from InterActiveCopr''s incubator in January. The company will use the money to help expand the Stakes team while the company continues to grow rapidly.
According to Kevin Wang, the CEO of Stakes, digital sports betting is becoming more a form of learning without the need for emotion, energy, and belonging. Combined, social media, gaming, and crypto to reimagine what sports enthusiasts are truly after: friendly competition, showing off knowledge and earning bragging rights. NFTs are a revolutionary technique to accomplish this.
Wang added that we are delighted to collaborate with an innovative group of investors who have a finger on the pulse of web3 and the future of culture. Our mission is to bring people together through sports and community with a unique digital experience that is much more than a spreadsheet of numbers.
The Stakes platform, which is currently in open beta in the Apple App Store, is free to users and creatively captures the thrill and joy of sports betting without players risking anything of monetary value. In a social feed, any player may wager for free.
I asked if the company was similar to that of other sports betting companies such as Draftkings.
Stakes does not compete with any traditional sportsbook with regulated real-money betting. There are already many options to bet with cash or crypto, legal and otherwise, according to Wang. We want to appeal to sports fans who will never become hardcore or even casual bettors because the nature of sports betting alienates a large population of people. Stakes is a web3 social wagering platform that allows individuals to establish their predictions and others to wager with a video game virtual currency to agree or disagree. Stakes is
He added that we are very different from traditional sports betting, prediction markets, fantasy sports, free to play prediction games, and social media platforms. Each component is unique, but we believe we are defining a new category of sports wagering platform that is native on the web 3.
Stakes was started by Wang when he was looking into the PASPA repeal of the Supreme Court, which effectively provided the way for state-licensed sports betting in the United States. He began to talk to friends about the appreciative effect this was, but his disappointment.
Despite their high-profile sports fans, most of my friends seemed disinterested in traditional sports betting, whether it be legal or not. Many of them did not even understand the technical jargon of money lines, parlays, and teasers used in traditional sports betting techniques. They were never going to become hardcore sports bettors.
Even if people involved cash buy-ins, it seemed like the money was incidental. It''s all about social camaraderie and the briagging rights, according to Wang.
According to Wang, a report from Twitter that included why Twitter users participate in fantasy sports, and the top two reasons were Sense of Community and Proving Knowledge.
In the end, what is the need to make money? Regardless of whether fantasy leagues are played for money, its the least important reason why they are played.
It revealed that when I was young enough, sports is often a communal experience. In many instances, it was like a switch flipped, which I saw after every Knicks heartbreak and every Michael Chang victory. Sports is how we bonded. I wanted to develop a new kind of real-money betting platform that focused on the bragging rights and community-driven aspects of being a sports fan.
NFTs are being used by competitors to commemorate their winning calls on the blockchain. Stakes has already sent over 8,000 proof-of-flex NFTs to over 2,500 users as a reward for sports predictions. During the 2022 NFL season, active users grew 5x and engagement increased 28%.
Stakes is defining a web 3 way to engage with sports through a new wave of NFTs with a sense of self-determination, according to Rumi Morales, the director of investment at the Digital Currency Group. We have known Kevin and the team for a long time and are impressed by their abilities to execute.
Wang said he has worked in the crypto/blockchain world for a while, and that his first job in New York was at SecondMarket, founded by Barry Silbert.When NFT and web 3 projects began maturing in 2021, Wang realized that it was a great technology for Stakes. 40% of Millennials and Gen Z own cryptoand14% own an NFT.
NFTs on the Stakes platform are earned for free by correctly making predictions. They are now digital bragging rights shared forever on the blockchain. They essentially become your public reputation as a sports fan, according to Wang. If you have an unmutable public record of the accuracy of your predictions, there is a more empirical way to measure.
My friends are always thinking about whether or not they would be a better GM than Stephen A. Smith. Now they can demonstrate it and have NFTs as digital markers of status. These NFTs may also include games, meet and greet athletes and sports personalities.
We believe these NFTs will be new methods for a sports metaverse that developers can build on top of. The Lakers can perform a virtual meet and greet in DecentralLand and invite only those who have NFTs that demonstrate they are genuine supporters. Teams may sell tickets and ensure they are going to true supporters, not scalpers. Other NFT projects may tie their NFTs to the Stakes NFTs you hold. We believe that having a public sports fan status will help us realize a lot of potential