Stakes Raises $5.3 Million in Seed Funding

  • Social wagering platform combines the power of social with NFTs for a new generation of sports fans

  • Digital Currency Group; Sterling Select; FBG Capital among early investors

  • Former NBA VP Sam Li joins as investor and strategic advisor

Stakes, a social wagering platform offering a new web3 experience for sports fans, today announced it raised $5.3 million in seed funding from Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, CMS Holdings, LD Capital, Cadenza Ventures, Matrixport Ventures, and Sterling Select Group. The company also announced the appointment of Sam Li, former Vice President at the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a strategic investor and advisor.

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Today’s funding announcement follows Stakes’ graduation from IAC’s incubator in January 2022 and will be used to help expand Stakes’ world-class team as the company continues to rapidly grow its user base.

“Digital sports betting increasingly feels like math homework – devoid of the emotion, energy and sense of community that motivates fans, especially this new generation of sports lovers,” said Kevin Wang, CEO and Founder of Stakes. “Stakes re-imagines sports betting for the 21st century by using NFTs as rewards. 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 way to achieve this.”

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Continued Mr. Wang, “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 mission is to bring people together through sports and community with an engaging, digital experience that is so much more than a spreadsheet of numbers.”

Currently in open Beta in the Apple App Store, Stakes’ platform is free to users and creatively captures the fun and excitement of sports betting without players risking anything of monetary value. Any player can wager for free in a competition among friends and influencers in a social feed. Winners collect NFTs to forever memorialize 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, Stakes saw active users grow 5x and engagement increase 28%.

“The intersection of crypto and sports is only just beginning. Stakes is defining a web3 way to engage with sports through a new category of NFTs with sentimental value that captures fandom to inspire the next generation of sports fans,” said Rumi Morales, Director of Investments, Digital Currency Group. “We’ve known Kevin and the team at Stakes for a long time and are impressed by their vision and ability to execute.”

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