Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has made a strategic investment in Dream11 parent-backed cricket non-fungible token (NFT) platform Rario, the company said on October 20.
As part of this deal, Tendulkar will act as a brand ambassador for the startup and exclusively offer his own digital collectibles on the platform.
The startup has similar exclusive tie-ups with many domestic and international cricketers such as Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Rishabh Pant, Smriti Mandhana, Aaron Finch, Faf Du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Shakib Al Hasan, Arshdeep Singh, and Axar Patel.
Founded in 2021 by Ankit Wadhwa and Sunny Bhanot, Rario enables cricket fans to engage as a community, providing them an opportunity to own digital collectibles such as officially licensed cricketing moments and player cards on the blockchain, represented as a NFT, similar to traditional trading cards or memorabilia.
One can buy, trade and sell these NFTs using credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers on the Rario marketplace to build up your collection. The platform is built on the Polygon Network.
Wadhwa believes, Tendulkar’s investment is a testament to their vision of “making fandom more accessible”.
“It is only fitting that the man who once carried a billion hopes is now blessing us in our journey to redefine fandom for a billion fans” he said.
“Fans are an integral part of any sport. While the on-field action happens for a few hours, fans carry the memories forward and immortalise those moments forever. It is exciting to see NFT technology bringing fans closer to sports, giving them an opportunity to treasure their favourite moments,” Tendulkar said.
The startup claims to have exclusive partnerships with tournaments such as Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket, Big Bash League, Women’s Big Bash League, Super Smash, Hero Caribbean Premier League, Lanka Premier League, Abu Dhabi T10 League, and Legends League Cricket.
It also claims to have a roster of over 900 international cricketers as well as over 30 exclusive brand ambassadors onboard. Rario says it has sold over 150,000 NFTs to sports fans across more than 75 countries.
In April, Rario had raised $120 million led by Dream Capital, the corporate venture and M&A arm of Dream Sports and participation from Alpha Wave Global. It also counts Animoca Brands, Presight Capital, and Kingsway Capital among its investors and Polygon Studios as a partner.
The article originally published on Money Control.