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Cristiano Ronaldo supports cricket company NFT

MUMBAI: Even as India’s cricket ecosystem takes its time to wake up to the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), one of the world’s best-known footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo, has already taken the plunge.
Cricket fans are in for a pleasant surprise as Cristiano-led CR7 along with a group of leading global investors invest $100 million (about Rs 760 crore) in FanCraze, the NFT company of cricket based in the city. This is expected to be one of the largest Series A funding rounds ever in the NFT space in Asia.
NFTs are stores of unique digital items stored on a blockchain, the same network that handles cryptocurrencies. NFTs act as negotiable certificates of authenticity for digital art, memorabilia, or fan merchandise.
New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, B Capital, Tiger Global, Coatue Management, Sequoia Capital India and other investors have learned to join Ronaldo’s company.
“The capital will be used to integrate new sports relationships and to fund FanCraze’s continued expansion of its metaverse across the cricketing landscape,” a source said. FanCraze plans to expand its R&D lab, user experience team, game studio, and marketplace platforms, as well as strengthen its engineering, marketing, and customer relations teams.
The startup has previously partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) as an Official Digital Collectibles Partner. Leading Indian cricketers Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal have also registered with FanCraze.
Cricket has one of the biggest fans in the region. Television and internet-based streaming services have taken off on the heels of live cricket, enabling category leaders to give cricket fans innovative and compelling ways to tune in to all the action.
“There’s a lot more to come in the next few weeks,” one person in the know said. As the most famous number 7 shirt in football signs up to be part of the FanCraze ecosystem, the chatter is already swirling that the most famous number 7 shirt in cricket is also expected to join the company soon.