Zug, Switzerland (ots/PRNewswire) – Summary
- The funding round is backed by prominent athletes and angel investors, including Lucas von Cranach, founder of One Football, Sebastian Borget, COO and co-founder of Sandbox and tennis pro Dominic Thiem
- The platform enables sports fans to invest in athletes and participate in their financial success
- Athletes gain access to a new form of funding and can intensify the connection with their fans
The athlete investment platform FANtium (fantium.com) today announced a €2 million ($2 million) private pre-seed round. Funding comes from prominent Web3 Angel investors, including Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of Sandbox, Brian O’Hagan, growth manager of Sorare, Itamar Lesuisse, co-founder and CEO of Argent, and Anand Agarawala, co-founder of Spatial. In addition, the company is supported by well-known athletes and founders from the sports sector, such as the Austrian tennis pro and winner of the US Open Dominic Thiem and OneFootball founder Lucas von Cranach.
FANtium democratizes athlete funding, allowing fans to invest in them and participate in their future financial success. In addition, they become part of the close-knit community of athletes and gain access to other unique benefits.
Professional athletes can use the platform to spend part of their future prize money for a season. You can use the income from this for special investments, such as hiring your own fitness trainer. Sports talents can use the platform to give away a portion of their future career earnings, thereby gaining access to the capital they will need towards a professional career.
FANtium wants to make sport fairer: Many young athletes have the necessary talent, but no access to the financial resources to pre-finance a professional career. Especially individual sports such as tennis, golf or racing are very expensive in the initial phase due to a lot of travel, training and equipment. Access to financial aid is critical, even for young athletes who are among the best in their age group.
“A season on the professional tennis tour is associated with high costs. Many young players have a very difficult time, especially if they cannot rely on private or family financial support,” says Austrian tennis pro Dominic Thiem, one of the best in his age group in youth and later winner of the US Open. “They are then forced to retire from the sport early because they find it difficult to finance their career. The search for a supporter or sponsor can also be very difficult and lengthy.”
FANTium will change that. “If you think about it, it doesn’t make sense that only companies have access to funding. There are billions of sports enthusiasts out there who would love to invest in these athletes and be a part of their success,” Jonathan said Ludwig. co-founder and CEO of FANtium. “By bringing these talents together with sports fans, we ensure more equality in sports because a young athlete’s success is no longer dependent on their financial background.”
Similar to music investment platforms like Royal, through which fans can buy song rights as NFTs, FANtium uses NFT technology to enable sports fans to invest in athletes. The company plans to establish athlete investments as a new asset class and then expand the platform to other sports rights.
Given the current regulations, it remains to be seen whether such NFTs will be considered securities, including the implications for platforms and users. However, FANtium seems to be taking a new approach and launching the platform in Switzerland in a securities compliant manner.
“We believe that regulation will be good for the industry overall as it creates trust and transparency for all market participants,” says Ludwig. “However, the dynamic and fragmented regulatory environment with specific requirements in each country remains one of our biggest challenges. Our goal is to establish FANTium as the world’s leading regulated athlete investment platform.”
The company plans to launch the platform with the first athletes later this year. Users can currently apply for early access on a waiting list on the website.
FANtium was founded by a team of sports and web3 enthusiasts with extensive experience in building and scaling businesses. It is led by Jonathan Ludwig, who has previously built and sold several startups and made early stage investments in successful Web3 startups such as Sorare as an angel investor. Other professional stations in the founding team are BCG and Rocket Internet.
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