Steven Cohen Metaverse Fund Leads $50 Million Fundraise for Collegiate Sports NFTs

NFT Platform RECUR, backed by the billionaire owner of the New York Mets, Stephen Cohen, closes its Serie-A funding with a valuation of $333 million.

RECUR the New Player 

RECUR has successfully raised $50 million in an effort to create Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) for collegiate sports in a Series-A funding round led by the billionaire owner of New York Mets and Point72, Steven Cohen. 

RECUR was founded in early 2021 by Trevor George and Zach Bruh with the goal of setting standards for the NFT market. RECURS aims to achieve this by returning control and ownership to the content creators through decentralized recurring royalty and increasing the spread of distribution for NFTs minted on their platform. 

“The future digital world and economy will be decentralized which we are not only preparing for but championing. Our NFTs will have the widest range of distribution and incorporate a recurring royalty element in the underlying code itself,” – said Bruh, in a March 25 blog post.

RECUR has also recently reached an agreement with Pac-12 Conference and its licensing partners to commemorate the highlights and memorable moments over the years for its fans. The fans will have the opportunity to own pieces of Pac-12 history through NFTs. 

Source: RECUR aims to create an on-chain branded experience that allows for fans to buy, collect, and re-sell branded NFTs

The Pacific-12 is a major collegiate athletic conference in the Western United States that participates in 24 sports in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1. The division is home to notable universities such as the University of California, Berkeley (CAL), University of California, Los Angles (UCLA), Stanford, and University of Southern California (USC), among others.

RECUR is valued at $333 million also managed to draw interests from other investors such as Gary Vaynerchuck, Digital, Delphi Ventures, and the Winklevoss twins. 

Creating Value through Better Fan Experience 

RECUR managed to attract some of the biggest names from the finance and crypto industry. On March 25, the company announced that it managed to raise $5 million in seed funding, the largest in NFT history. In a mere six months, the company now reports a massive valuation of $333 million. 

RECUR is not attempting a new industry. The sports memorabilia industry is in the midst of its own bull run. This industry far exceeds catering to mere hobbyists and collectors. It is extracting investors and traders that see value in these assets. 

To preserve the integrity and value of any collection, a few issues must be ironed out. First, the scarcity of the collection must be verifiable. Secondly, it must be free from tampering, and finally, there must be an incentive to the content creator. 

A recurring royalty can achieve the latter by recognizing the creator’s Intellectual Property (IP) rights. RECUR resolves these issues by providing a digital solution through NFTs. 

Source: The partnership launch with the Pac-12 brings NFTs into the collegiate sports ecosystem 

Provable Digital Ownership

One of the main problems now plaguing the NFT ecosystem is proper curation. Museums and auction houses curate collections to prevent theft, improper duplications, and other intellectual property rights breaches. Popular NFT platforms such as OpenSea find themselves caught in precarious situations through scams.

The NFT space is a nascent industry, and even though they provide digital ownership, buyers must still exercise due diligence before making any purchase. Unfortunately, not all buyers are sophisticated or conversant in the crypto space in such a new industry, and victims can emerge

Reputable platforms such as RECUR––who integrate proper licensing rights from the owners–– can assure authenticity. However, given the nature of a decentralized platform, the control and owners vests with the community.

It is foreseeable that in the near future, community curation on NFT platforms will provide integrity in the space and peace of mind to both the content creator and the purchasers. Reward to the curation community can be part of the platform fee or listing fee.  

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