Sports fan engagement platform startup Fanzee is feeling richer today after securing the capital it needs to get its offering off the ground.
The startup said today it has closed on a $2 million pre-seed funding round led by TONcoin.fund, a $250 million fund for teams building in the TON blockchain ecosystem. Alongside TON.coin fund, notable investors including First Stage Labs, KuCoin Ventures, vlg.digital, Huobi incubator and Hexit.capital, a part of Swiss-based Hemma Group, also participated.
Fanzee’s investors are all big believers in its plans to reinvent fan experiences using blockchain and digital technologies such as NFTs. What Fanzee aims to do is create gamified experiences that sports clubs can offer to their fans – through social media and other channels – with the aim being to reward their participation and loyalty with digital assets.
Those experiences may take on the form of quizzes, puzzles and competitions. For instance, Fanzee can help teams to create regular quiz contests for fans, or else challenges that involve collecting digital collectibles.
Fanzee is aiming to build upon the natural instinct of fans to wear their favorite club’s shirts. As it explains on Telegram, fans indulge in such behavior because they identify with their teams. They feel a sense of belonging that prompts them to engage with the club and be a part of its community. The shirt is a symbol of that connection. However, Fanzee understands that wearing a shirt doesn’t provide the same “jolt of emotion” that comes from actually going and watching a football match in the stands.
“People like movement, energy and interaction and this is where we see the potential for incredible synergy between sports and web3,” Fanzee said. “Because in the digital space the scope of interactability is limitless.”
Despite this potential, most clubs are currently unable to offer much in the way of meaningful experiences to their fans outside of match day, because there are no engaging solutions that allow them to create the same kind of emotive interactions. This is what Fanzee aims to change with its platform, which guides sports clubs through the digitization process, enabling them to add new products and services that can increase the way they engage with fans.
One of its central ideas is quizzes. The company explains that quizzes are one of the bets ways to test fans on their knowledge of their club’s history, giving them the chance to show off how much they know about their favorite teams. Fanzee provides the tools for clubs to create regular quizzes, along with reward mechanisms such as XP points, digital items and tokens, exclusive access to secret challenges and other rewards. Fans who gain XP points can then move up the club’s fan leaderboard, with those who finish at the top at the end of the season winning yet more exciting prizes at the discretion of their clubs.
“We are thrilled to begin the next chapter in our journey to reimagine fan engagement in sports and entertainment,” said Fanzee CEO Ajay Jojo. “It is an exciting time to be at the forefront of innovation in the intersection of sports and blockchain technology where our values of being product- and fan-first will shine through.”
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