6 rising NFT startups shaping the next generation of the sports industry

Some of the most exciting moments we get to experience in our era are the moments when innovation and new technologies are born, similar to the internet revolution starting in the 1980’s and the social media revolution taking place in the last 10 years. We are now ready for the next big revolution – “the digital … Continued


Some of the most exciting moments we get to experience in our era are the moments when innovation and new technologies are born, similar to the internet revolution starting in the 1980’s and the social media revolution taking place in the last 10 years. We are now ready for the next big revolution – “the digital revolution”.

In our previous article I explained why I think NFTs are the biggest opportunity in sports and I mentioned 6 thriving NFT companies that have already made their mark in this fast growing industry.

Many successful platforms like TopShot, Sorare and OpenSea have already established the market with over $100,000,000 marketplace transactions combined so far in 2021, attracting many startups, investors and venture capitals to this new topic and giving them the best opportunity for high growth in the near future.

Today, I am going to introduce the new rising players, giving you 6 unique NFT startups that I predict will shape the near future of the NFT & sports-tech industry.

Startup NameIlluvium
IndustriesNFT, Gamification, Gaming.
Headquarters LocationSydney, New South Wales, Australia.
DescriptionIlluvium makes a game that rewards players with the opportunity to explore and capture NFT creatures, known as Illuvials, in combat.
Founded Date01/01/2020
Last Funding Date11/03/2021
Last Funding Amount$5,000,000
Total Funding Amount$5,000,000
Top InvestorsIOSG Ventures, Framework Ventures.

The future of NFT decentralized gaming.

Led by the largest DeFi fund, Framework Ventures, Illuvium is now launching the first-of-its-kind, transparent, and community-governed gaming experience. The Illuvium platform is a decentralized mobile game where the players get rewarded in combat when they strategize and capture NFT creatures called Illuvial. The $5m investment from their series ‘A’ funding round positions Illuvium to become the premier gaming platform in the crypto ecosystem. Blockchain-Based Illuvium (ILV) token launched in Apr 2021 for 50$ per token and now officially listed in bitcoin.com for $62 per token.

What do you think the price of the ILV token will be by 2022?

Startup NameRage Fan.
IndustriesBlockchain, NFT, Sports.
Headquarters LocationVirgin, Utah, United States
DescriptionRage Fan is the first on-chain fantasy & utility NFT sports platform built on Blockchain Technology.
Founded Date01/01/2021
Last Funding Date18/03/2021
Last Funding Amount$1,600,000
Total Funding Amount$1,600,000.
Top 3 InvestorsAU21 Capital, Genesis Block Ventures, Moonwhale Ventures.

The next revolutionary fantasy sports + blockchain platform.

Founded earlier this year, Rage Fan has already successfully raised $1.6m from leading investors in the US. What makes the Utah based startup stand out among its competitors is the great UX experience and the diverse fantasy sport games you can choose from in their platform. Constantly creating new innovative products, Rage Fan has recently launched an AR engagement app called “Scramble”. With the growth of their fantasy sports platform, the new app and their NFT $RAGE token, I believe Rage Fan is going for the home run.

Startup NameGeer
IndustriesBlockchain, Sports, Video Games.
Headquarters LocationSan Francisco, California, United States.
DescriptionPremier NFTs platform for blue-chip brands.
Founded Date01/01/2018
Last Funding Date03/08/2020
Last Funding Amount$700,000
Total Funding Amount$1,025,000
Revenue Range$1M to $10M

Are we soon going to see the first NFT arcade?

Geer™ is the very first platform allowing blue-chip brands and video game publishers to sell their digital assets. 

Most publishers and brands treat this opportunity as a blessing when it comes to selling their NFT-based assets to consumers in games who will further use them while playing.  The trading is direct between the consumers and the publishers, and of course, the standardizing is commercial based when it comes to NFT collectibles. The recent collaboration with Atari, a well-known arcade pioneer that manages and owns arcade and video games, is definitely something to look out for if you have interest in the esports and gaming industry.

Startup NameUnblockable
IndustriesBlockchain, Collectibles, Sports.
Headquarters LocationManhattan Beach, California, United States.
DescriptionUnblockable empowers sports fans to buy, sell, and use blockchain-based digital collectibles of individual athletes.
Founded Date01/03/2018
Last Funding Date28/06/2018
Last Funding Amount$5,000,000
Total Funding Amount$5,000,000
Top InvestorsLightspeed Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures.
Estimated Revenue Range$1M to $10M

Founded by a former NFL player and successful entrepreneur, Jeb Terry.

Unblockable is providing a platform for athletes, stars and leagues to connect and entertain fans differently. UnBlockable has recently launched its HotStreak fantasy app that combines the use of fantasy sports and NFTs related to professional teams and athletes.

Jeb Terry, the former NFL player and co-founder in the company has successfully sold his first sports-tech company StraightCast Media to Fox Sports and is now ready for his next project as the chief executive of UnBlockable. With the team of successful entrepreneurs beside Terry I believe that UnBlockable will have a bright future.

Startup NameReality Gaming Group Limited
IndustriesGaming, NFT, Information Technology.
Headquarters LocationLondon, England, United Kingdom.
DescriptionReality Gaming Group develop games that connect to the blockchain utilizing digital collectibles known as NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens).
Founded Date04/01/2017
Last Funding Date19/09/2017
Last Funding Amount$2,500,000
Total Funding Amount$2,500,000

The leading gaming and marketplace NFT developer.

Investing in the startup developing the games that will undoubtedly attract huge traffic in the future is a smart decision. Since the year RGG was founded, the development of two platforms, as well as the launch of a gaming studio, is a feather in their crown.

You might be familiar with the games like Doctor Who: Worlds Apart, Reality Clash, Emojibles, and Smighties. These are the blockchain games that are associated with Reality Studios.According to RGG, Blockchain technology will unlock a $100 billion collectibles market for game creators and brands. With Brands & IP holders such as BBC, NBA, Paramount Studios tokenizing their items and opening new recurring revenue streams this market is only at the beginning of its journey.

Startup NameFantastec
IndustriesNFT, Fantasy sports, Gaming.
Headquarters LocationGuildford, Surry, United Kingdom.
DescriptionFantastec invents the future of international sports fan engagement.
Founded Date01/01/2017
Revenue Range$1M to $10M.

Arsenal, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have joined the NFT craze.

Fantastec SWAP, the next-generation NFT fantasy sports app, has recently announced three big partnerships with leading European teams. Arsenal, Dortmund and Real Madrid are three well known teams for their worldwide fan community with more than 365 million followers on social media platforms combined. The UK based app brings the teams a way to expand their collectibles to their global fans through the digital world and give the fans an opportunity to engage closer to their teams. With its innovative blockchain technology, fans around the world can now purchase, collect and swap officially licensed club collectibles with other fans with complete trust.

Peter Silverstone, Arsenal’s Commercial Director, said:

 “As football fans, many of us remember collecting and swapping player cards with friends. This initiative with Fantastec SWAP brings that concept into today’s digital world and gives our fans access to unique Arsenal collectibles and content wherever they are in the world.”

The Future for NFT startups

So many big names are now entering this new field trying to catch the attention, 

With Tom Brady soon launching a NFT company named Autograph and big Investors like Mark Cuban are calling NFTs “the new digital revolution”, I think that understanding this new topic is a key insight for the near future.

HYPE Sports and Innovation have recently launched a new NFT vertical, that aims to partner with the rising startups in this field and connect them with the big sports brands clubs and federations and create pilots and commercial agreements together. If you are a NFT Sport Startup apply here.

I believe that every sports league and marketplace will soon sell their NFTs in a similar way they sell their official products, tickets and merchandise. NFTs can be a colossal marketing opportunity for sports teams, athletes and leagues and will be a big innovative game changer for the sports industry in the near  future. 

I invite you to join us in this exciting journey and stand by for more news and updates.

This article is the first of a series around NFTs to allow us to understand a little bit more about the potential and the future impact of the new world of Non-Fungible Tokens and Blockchain. Stand by.

Amir Raveh, President, and Founder of HYPE Sports & Innovation.

Thank you Yonatan Larkin for the great work, research, and data assembly.


  • Mar 8, 2024

    Can you be more specific about the content of your article? After reading it, I still have some doubts. Hope you can help me.

  • Joshua Rodriguez

    Aug 5, 2021

    Hi! New to this space. Interested in contributing however I can. Also have several hundred nft and ticket related domains including nft.tickets, NFTs.tickets, NFTs.new, NFTs.basketball, NFTs.tennis, rarefind.io, tickets.events, ticket.fan, and several hundred more. Would be happy to connect! Josh