Spanish football titan FC Barcelona is continuing its foray into the realms of digital finance and art with a substantial investment of $132 million for its blockchain and NFT-focused project, Barça Vision. The investment comes from a collaboration between Libero Football Finance AG, a German-based soccer club financial consultancy, and Nipa Capital B.V., a Netherlands-based venture capital firm.
In exchange for this infusion of capital, FC Barcelona relinquishes a 29.5% stake in Bridgeburg Invest, the overarching holding company for Barça Vision. The initiative, according to the club's developers, is dedicated to integrating all digital content associated with Web3 and blockchain technology, including NFTs and the metaverse. This move aligns with the club's strategy to shape the digital 'Espai Barça'.
It's worth noting that this transaction is subject to approval by FC Barcelona shareholders. If all goes as planned, the deal is expected to be finalized in the final quarter of 2023.
Not Barcelona's First Dive into Web3
FC Barcelona isn't a newcomer to the blockchain arena. Starting in February 2020, the club teamed up with Chiliz blockchain to create Ethereum-powered FC Barcelona Fan Tokens (BAR), enhancing fan engagement. In August 2022, Chiliz took its involvement further by purchasing a 24.5% stake in Barça Vision for a substantial $100 million.
In May of this year, FC Barcelona introduced its inaugural NFT collection in partnership with Plastiks. Named "Unleash Your Passion," the collection comprises 3,000 animal-themed NFTs priced at $30 each, with the intention of contributing to "removing 35,000,000 kilograms of plastic from our planet."
FC Barcelona's digital achievements continued with the sale of its very first NFT, "Masterpiece #1 In A Way," at a Sotheby's New York auction in July 2022, fetching a staggering $693,000. This was followed by another collectible, "Masterpiece #2 – Empowerment," which was purchased on OpenSea in June 2023 for $300,231.