Gen Z sports metaverse startup Stadium Live raises US$10m to fund expansion

  • Stadium Live previously raised US$3m in seed funding
  • Canadian startup believes vertical communities are the future of engagement

Stadium Live has raised US$10 million funding to continue the development of its digital environment for Gen Z sports fans.

The Series A round was led by KB Partners and Union Square Ventures, while it also included National Basketball Association (NBA) star Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five ventures, as well as French soccer player Blaise Matuidi’s Origins Fund.

Dapper Labs Ventures, Position Ventures, Valhalla Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, Alumni Ventures, and Breakout Capital also participated.

Stadium Live was founded in 2020 with the intention of creating a digital playground for younger sports fans who are eschewing traditional sports broadcasts in favour of short-form, interactive content on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. It says 93 per cent of its half a million users are Gen Z.

The mobile metaverse platform combines social network features with short-form sport-focused gameplay, with users creating customisable avatars to express their fandom and interact with each other. Similar to other gamified digital environments, users compete in games to earn in-game currency to spend on new items and powerups for their avatars.

The Canadian-based firm recently agreed a partnership with the arena-based Fan Controlled Football (FCF) league. Stadium Live will use its new funding to build out the platform and reach new users. At present, Stadium Live is only available on iOS, but an Android launch is planned for later this year.

“The sports industry has been slow to adapt to a new generation of digitally native fans,” said Kevin Kim, Stadium Live chief executive. “We pride ourselves on developing a platform for the community and with the help of the community. Sports is more than just sports to Gen Z — it is culture, music, fashion, and so much more. Our focus is on building the tools to let people interact with each other within the metaverse. We’re building more than just an environment, we’re building a community.”

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