Fanatics is Selling its Majority Stake of NFT Venture Candy Digital

CNBC | Ian Thomas | Jan 4, 2023

Fanatics - Fanatics is Selling its Majority Stake of NFT Venture Candy Digital

Image: Fanatics

Michael Rubin's sports platform company Fanatics is divesting its 60% stake in NFT company Candy Digital, according to an internal email obtained by CNBC.

  • Fanatics, who previously held the majority share of Candy Digital, will be selling its interest to an investor group led by Galaxy Digital, the crypto merchant bank led by Mike Novogratz, which was the other original founding shareholder, according to the email.
  • Candy Digital was founded in June 2021 in the middle of the sports NFT boom, competing with companies like Dapper Labs in the digital sports collectible space. One of its first efforts came out of a multiyear licensing agreement with MLB to produce nonfungible tokens, which included an exclusive Lou Gehrig NFT. It also released digital collectibles with Netflix's Stranger Things, WWE, and several Nascar teams.
    • Candy Digital had raised a $100 million Series A round in October 2021, valuing it at $1.5 billion at the time. Investors in that round included SoftBank's Vision Fund 2, Insight Partners, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, according to previous CNBC reporting.

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Fanatics, Founder, Michael Rubin:

Over the past year, it has become clear that NFTs are unlikely to be sustainable or profitable as a standalone business. Aside from physical collectibles (trading cards) driving 99% of the business, we believe digital products will have more value and utility when connected to physical collectibles to create the best experience for collectors.

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