Indian athlete Sachin Tendulkar, regarded as the "God of Cricket," has invested in the NFT platform Rario.
Singapore-based Rario said Tendulkar is now a strategic investor and brand ambassador of the firm, in an announcement on Tuesday. As part of the deal, Rario will exclusively offer Tendulkar's digital collectibles on its platform. The firm did not disclose the investment amount injected by Tendulkar.
Founded in 2021, Rario is a cricket-focused NFT platform, which sells digital collectibles of players and leagues. The firm claims to have partnered with more than 900 cricketers, including Aaron Finch, Faf Du Plessis, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Smriti Mandhana, and sold over 150,000 NFTs to date.
Rario is backed by some high-profile investors, including Dream Capital, Animoca Brands and Kingsway Capital, having raised $120 million in a Series A earlier this year.
Rario co-founder and CEO Ankit Wadhwa described Tendulkar's partnership and investment in the company as "surreal" in a statement. "It is a testament to our vision of making fandom more accessible," he said. "A world where stars don’t just exist on a distant flickering screen or in a crowded stadium, and fans don’t get to be passive observers but active participants."
Rario's NFTs offer some utility, meaning they can be used in the cricket strategy game it has developed in partnership with Dream Sports, called D3 Club. Rario also plans to provide some real-life utilities of its NFTs, including access to exclusive club memberships, deals and discounts on tournament tickets and access to ask-me-anything sessions.
"Fans are an integral part of any sport," Tendulkar said. "While the on-field action happens for a few hours, fans carry the memories forward and immortalize those moments forever. It is exciting to see NFT technology bringing fans closer to sports, giving them an opportunity to treasure their favorite moments."
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