David – Cryptocurrency Enthusiast
In a significant development, the renowned Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona has successfully secured a substantial investment of 120 million euros ($132 million) for its foray into the world of blockchain and Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The club's interest in crafting collections of nonfungible tokens has been evident over the past year, reflecting its determination to embrace innovative technologies.
The investment stems from Libero Football Finance AG and Nipa Capital B.V., with FC Barcelona announcing the partnership on August 11th. This collaboration signifies a major step forward for FC Barcelona's Web3 initiative, known as Barça Vision. As a component of this agreement, FC Barcelona has ceded a 29.5% ownership interest in Bridgeburg Invest, the overseeing entity of Barça Vision, in return for the considerable infusion of capital.
Barça Vision encapsulates FC Barcelona's ambitious plan to integrate an array of digital content within the realms of Web3 and blockchain, encompassing elements such as NFTs and the metaverse. These initiatives are intricately woven into the club's broader strategy to construct the digital Espai Barça.
Libero Football Finance AG, a publicly listed company in Germany, is renowned for its financial consultancy services for soccer clubs. Meanwhile, Nipa Capital B.V., a venture capital firm headquartered in the Netherlands, brings its expertise to the partnership. It is worth noting that the success of this transaction hinges on the approval of FC Barcelona's shareholders, with the anticipated closing date set for the fourth quarter of 2023.
The collaboration with Chiliz blockchain since February 2020 has been instrumental in FC Barcelona's journey into the blockchain arena. This strategic partnership has paved the way for the creation of FC Barcelona Fan Tokens (BAR), based on the Ethereum platform, offering fans unique engagement opportunities with their beloved sports franchise.
Chiliz's involvement further intensified in August 2022, when it acquired a noteworthy 24.5% stake in FC Barcelona's digital content creation arm, Barça Vision, investing a substantial $100 million.
The club's venture into the NFT coins realm materialised with the launch of its inaugural NFT crypto collection, aptly named "Unleash Your Passion," in May. Comprising 3,000 animal-themed NFTs, each priced at $30, the collection serves a dual purpose—enthusiastic participation by fans and contributing to environmental sustainability, with the club pledging to remove 35,000,000 kilograms of plastic from the planet.
Further establishing its NFT market presence, FC Barcelona made waves by auctioning the NFT masterpiece "Masterpiece #1 In A Way" at a Sotheby's New York event in July 2022, fetching an impressive $693,000. The momentum continued with the sale of the second piece in the series, "Masterpiece #2 - Empowerment," on OpenSea in June 2023, commanding a price of $300,231.