Chiliz, the blockchain technology provider for the Socios.com fan engagement platform, has made a $5.5 million strategic investment in MatchWornShirt.com (MWS), an authentic sporting memorabilia platform, in exchange for a 20% stake in the company.
As part of the agreement, Chiliz will work to boost the MWS brand by promoting its offering to Socios.com’s 1.8 million users from more than 170 sporting organizations around the globe.
The investment will also increase the real-world utility for Socios fan token-holders, who will gain early access and discounts to the MWS marketplace through the MWS integration and will be able to bid on items that are listed in real time during soccer games.
“The MatchWornShirt investment is an important step in our strategy to bring more to the fan experience and benefits to the Chiliz ecosystem,” Alexandre Dreyfus, the CEO of Chiliz/Socios, told Sportico.
Last week, Chiliz announced a $50 million incubator and accelerator program, backed by Jump Crypto. The program will foster early-stage projects looking to leverage the new Chiliz blockchain and the Socios.com partners, providing strategic guidance and funding.
“Alongside our Chiliz labs incubator fund, we are delighted to be able to make strategic investments in companies like MatchWornShirt, which will bring immediate benefits and utility to fan token holders and deliver sustainable revenue streams to teams in our ecosystem and long-term value to fans,” Dreyfus said.
As part of this strategy, in December, Chiliz launched Gameused.com, an end-to-end memorabilia authentication service for sports and entertainment, delivering storage, NFC and NFT authentication for redemption and resale. This new service premiered during the recent EA Sports Supercup (Supercoppa Italiana) between A.C. Milan and Inter Milan in Saudi Arabia’s Fahd International Stadium last January. The balls with which Inter scored each of their three goals in the 3-0 victory were authenticated using Gameused.com technology and have been given away to $INTER fan token holders as part of the rewards in the Socios.com app.
“Developers choosing the Chiliz chain to build their new innovative projects is central to our vision, allowing us to build an ecosystem of fan experiences and transactions where fan tokens provide a “digital key,” which can work across any products or experiences built on our infrastructure,” Dreyfus said.