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Lionel Messi’s VC Firm Invests in $21M Round for Matchday, a Soccer-Focused Web3 Startup

By March 9, 2023 No Comments
Lionel Messi’s VC Firm Invests in $21M Round for Matchday, a Soccer-Focused Web3 Startup

Key takeaways:

  • Lionel Messi’s venture capital company PlayTime has been one of the key investors in Matchday’s seed round
  • Matchday, a web3 startup focusing on soccer gaming, has raised $21 million in the seed round
  • This is not Messi’s first foray into the crypto sphere – last year the PSG star signed a $20 million deal with Socios, a sports fan token giant

Messi continues making waves in the crypto sports scene

Lionel Messi’s venture capital firm PlayTime announced it has invested in a $21 million financing round raised by Matchday, a startup that focuses on interactive soccer entertainment in the web3 space.

 “To us, it’s all about accessibility. We’re talking about bringing on board hundreds of millions of fans into our game without them even knowing what Web3 is. … Our motto is ‘make complexity disappear,’” stated the chief gaming officer (CGO) at Matchday, Sebastien de Halleux.

Matchday is reportedly trying to build a number of soccer games with licensing from FIFA, the international governing body and soccer’s ultimate administrative authority. Matchday apparently plans to tap into the casual gamers segment, which is not particularly interested in the FIFA soccer game for PCs and gaming consoles. The company plans to incorporate digital player cards and other elements that could appeal to the casual fan. With billions of soccer fans worldwide, the growth potential is certainly there.

Messi, who won the 2022 World Cup with Argentina and is widely considered to be one of the best soccer players of all time, is no stranger to the cryptocurrencie space. Last year, he penned a $20 million deal with Socios, a leading fan token company with partners such as FC Barcelona (BAR), Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), AC Milan (ACM), UFC, LA Lakes, and more.

PlayTime’s investment comes at a time of reduced institutional and VC interest in crypto. In fact, institutional crypto inflows in 2022 fell to the lowest levels since 2018 and recorded a 95% drop compared to the all-time high in 2021.