Stakes said it raised $5.3 million for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) aimed at sports betting enthusiasts.
Stakes, a New York-based company, wants to make sports wagering more social by offering a new web 3 experience for non-traditional players.
The funds were donated by Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, CMS Holdings, LD Capital, Cadenza Ventures, Matrixport Ventures, and Sterling Select Group. Sam Li, the former Vice President of the National Basketball Association (NBA), has also been named a strategic investor and advisor.
In January, Stakes got a scholarship from InterActiveCopr''s incubator. It will use the money to support the Stakes team as the company continues to grow rapidly.
According to Stakes'' CEO, digital sports betting is becoming more like math homework because to the desire, passion, and sense of belonging that drives sports enthusiasts to succeed. We combine social media, gaming, and crypto to understand what sports fans are truly following: friendly competition, showing off knowledge, and earning bragging rights. NFTs are a unique way to achieve this.
Wang added that we are delighted to partner with an innovative group of investors who have a finger on the pulse of web3 and the future of culture. Our aim is to provide individuals with an engaging, digital experience that is much more than a spreadsheet of numbers.
Stakes is currently in open beta in the Apple App Store, which allows users to learn more about sports betting and enthuse them to enjoy it with ease. In a social feed, any player may be allowed to wager for free.
I asked if the sport was comparable to other sports betting firms like Draftkings.
Stakes does not compete with any traditional sportsbook doing regulated real-money betting. There are already several methods for betting with cash or crypto, legal or otherwise, according to Wang. We want to appeal to sports fans that will never become hardcore or even casual bettors because of the nature of sports betting. NFTs that represent your status. Anyone can create their predictions and others can wager with a video game virtual currency to agree or disagree. Stakes is not considered gambling.
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 element of each is unique, but we believe we are creating a new type of sports betting platform that is native.
Stakes has eight people, according to Wang when he was looking into the PASPA repeal of the Supreme Court, which effectively paved the way for state-licensed sports betting in the United States. He began to talk to friends about how exciting a transition this was, but the feedback he received was ruffled.
Despite their huge sports fans, most of my friends remained disinterested in traditional sports betting, whether it be legal or not. Several of them even understood the technical jargon of money lines, parlays, or teasers used in traditional sports betting. They were never going to become hardcore sports bettors.
Despite the fact that almost everyone was active in fantasy leagues with friends or actively 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 bragging rights, according to Wang.
After Twitter''s 2019 fantasy sports predictions were fulfilled, almost all of his friends were in group discussions, making sports predictions, friendly casual wagers, and bragging to each other. Wang said this is partly due to a study that included why Twitter users participated in fantasy sports, and the most two reasons were Sense of Community and Proving Knowledge.
What if we were to get a paycheck, heres how we can make money. So even when fantasy leagues are played for money, this is the least important reason why they are played.
It provided an idea for the sports fan that when he was young, it was common for a sports fan to be loyal to their favorite sport or team for life, but when it came to sports, it was like a switch flipped. After every Knicks heartbreak and every Michael Chang victory, I got to see the whole range of his emotions. I wanted to develop a new type of betting platform that focused on community-driven sports inclines.
Winners collect non-fungible tokens to commemorate their winning calls on the blockchain. Stakes has already minted 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 type of NFTs with an open mind that will enliven fandom, according to Rumi Morales, the director of investment at the Digital Currency Group. Weve known Kevin and the team for a long time, and are impressed by their ability to execute.
Wang said he had worked in New York since SecondMarket was 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 percent of millennials and Gen Z own cryptoand14% own an NFT.
Stakes NFTs are earned for free by correcting predictions on the Stakes platform. They have become digital bragging rights forever on the blockchain. They essentially become your public recognition as a sports fan, according to Wang. If you have an immutable public track record of the accuracy of your predictions, there is a more empirical approach to measure.
My friends are always talking about how they would be a better GM than anyone who is running theirfavorite 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 also unlock additional rare rare items that may include real-life games, meet and greet athletes, and sports personalities.
We believe these NFTs will become new forms 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 Stakes NFTs that demonstrate they are genuine fans. Teams can auction tickets and ensure they are going to true fans, not scalpers. We believe that having a public sports fan status will entail a slew of new possibilities for sports fan organizations.