Stakes has stated that it raised $5.3 million for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) aimed at sports wagering enthusiasts.
Stakes, a New York company, wants to increase sports wagering by offering a fresh web 3 experience for non-traditional players.
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 a strategic investor and advisor.
Stakes graduated from InterActiveCopr''s incubator in January. The company will utilize the money to support the Stakes team as the company continues to rapidly expand its user base.
According to Kevin Wang, the CEO of Stakes, digital sports betting is becoming increasingly like math homework void of the desire, energy, and community that drives fans, especially this new generation of sports enthusiasts. We combine social media, gaming, and crypto to tap into what sports fans are truly after: friendly competition, showing off knowledge, and earning bragging rights. NFTs are a unique technique to achieve this.
Wang added that we are pleased to partner with an innovative group of investors who have a finger on the pulse of web3 and the future of culture. Our objective is to bring people together through sports and community with a unique, digital experience that is even more than a spreadsheet of numbers.
Stakes is now in open beta in the Apple App Store and it is free to users and creatively captures sports betting''s fun and excitement without players risking anything of monetary value. In a social feed, any player may wager for free.
I asked if the business was similar to those of other sports betting firms like Draftkings.
Stakes is not a competitive sportbook that is regulated real-money betting. There are already plenty of options for individuals to bet with cash or crypto, legal or otherwise, according to Wang in an email. 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 group of people. NFTs that represent your status can also be used on social platforms to make their predictions and others can wager with virtual currency to agree or disagree. Stakes
He said that we are quite 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 rapidly becoming a whole new type of sports wagering platform.
Stakes had eight people, according to Wang when he was looking into the PASPA repeal by the Supreme Court. Fortunately, he began to talk with friends about how exciting a situation this was, but the reactions he received were surprised.
Many of my friends, despite being huge sports fans, were uninterested in traditional sports betting, obviously legal or not. They didn''t want to gamble away their money, and many of them did not even understand the technical jargon of money lines, parlays, or teasers used in traditional sports betting techniques. They were never going to become hardcore sports bettors.
Very counterintuitively, almost all of them were active in fantasy leagues with their friends or regularly participated in office pools for March Madness or Super Bowl Squares. Even when those involved cash buy-ins, it seemed like the money was accidental. It''s all about social camaraderie and the bragging rights, according to Wang.
Nearly all of his friends were in group chats on sports predictions, friendly casual wagers, and bragging to each other when theirsports predictions came true. This is supported by a study published in 2019 that included why Twitter users participated in fantasy sports, and the top two reasons were Proving Knowledge, according to Wang.
To make money is the last thing in the works. Even when fantasy leagues are played for money, it''s the least important reason why they are played.
After every Knicks heartbreak and every Michael Chang win, it confirmed what I knew since I was young, that sports is inherently a communal experience. In many cases, it was like a switch flipped. I was thrilled to see the whole range of his emotions after every Knicks heartbreak and every Michael Chang victory. I wanted to create a new kind of wagering platform that focused on the bragging rights and community-driven aspects of being a sports fan.
Winners collect non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to commemorate their winning calls on the blockchain. Stakes has already given 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 increased 5x and engagement increased 28%.
Stakes is defining a web 3 way to engage with sports with a new kind of NFTs with sentimental value, according to Rumi Morales, the director of investment at the Digital Currency Group. We have known Kevin and the team at Stakes for a long time and are impressed by their potential.
Wang said he has been around the crypto/blockchain world for a while, including at SecondMarket, which was founded by Barry Silbert. When NFT and web 3 projects began maturing in 2021, Wang realized that it was a good strategy for Stakes. Compared to older generations, 40% of Millennials and Gen Z own crypto and 14% own an NFT.
NFTs on Stakes are earned for free by correcting predictions on the platform. They are digital bragging rights forever on the blockchain. Essentially, you become your public reputation as a sports fan, according to Wang. There is a more empirical approach to measure if you have an untransferable public record of your predictions.
My friends are always talking about how they would be a better GM than who is leading their famous team, or how they are smarter than Stephen A. Smith. Now they can prove it and have NFTs as digital markers of status. These NFTs will offer additional rare items that may include real-life benefits, such as access to games, meet and greet athletes and sports personalities.
We believe these NFTs will be developed as new primitives for a sports metaverse. In DecentralLand, teams can offer tickets and ensure they are going to true fans rather than scalpers. Other NFT projects may tie their NFTs to the Stakes NFTs you hold. We hope that having a public sports fan status will help us realize the potential.