Digital& NFT

Candy Digital Raises $100 Million as NFTs & Sports Collectibles Evolve

It’s easy to sit around hating on non-fungible tokens. After all, these are images (or videos) that by and large live on a computer screen and don’t really do anything. And on top of that, the images may be saved on millions of other screens for free. But that thought process just doesn’t matter. Collectors Dashboard has represented from its inception that the digitization of assets is here to stay. This is not about issuing any price guarantees at all. It’s about the concept of NFTs.

New announcements are being made daily about new NFT launches, new platforms, new partnerships and so on. And (almost) out of the blue, Candy Digital has raised $100 million in Series A funding for a valuation that was said to be $1.5 billion. The majority shareholder of Candy Digital is Fanatics, which has made major sports collectibles announcements already in 2021.

Candy refers to itself as the next generation digital collectible (NFT) company. It might in fact be more of a digital sports powerhouse — Candy Digital is building Major League Baseball’s official NFT ecosystem and it has 2021 Icon Packs coming on October 26, 2021. They have also already sold thousands of items on the OpenSea platform.

This company and platform may be new to many people, but the players behind the company are not new. These are the people listed as the founding board members behind the company:

  • Michael Rubin, CEO, Fanatics;
  • Mike Novogratz, founder and CEO, Galaxy Digital;
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor.

The $100 million funding round was co-led by Insight Partners and Softbank Vision Fund 2. Additional participants who were named in this round include the following:

Connect Ventures, an investment partnership between leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Will Ventures, Gaingels, Com2Us, Athletes Syndicate in partnership with Chaos Ventures, which includes participation from current and retired MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL players, and NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

Candy Digital has already released products in partnership with MLB and with multiple college athletes. One of these was the MLB World Series NFT to celebrate the LA Dodgers’ 2020 World Series victory. Candy Digital was also the company which designed a series of Lou Gehrig NFTs. And Candy’s “Sweet Futures” college NFT line already includes the following players:

  • Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei,
  • North Carolina’s Sam Howell,
  • Georgia’s JT Daniels,
  • and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder.

NFTs are not always the easiest assets within collectibles to explain. What is important for collectors and investors alike to recognize that collectibles only have to be attractive and desired by one other buyer at a price for them to be a valuable asset.