Spanish football powerhouse FC Barcelona has taken another significant step into the digital finance and art landscape. On August 11, the club revealed a substantial investment of $132 million to fuel its blockchain and NFT-focused initiative, Barça Vision.
Advancing Barça Vision
The investment is a joint effort between Libero Football Finance AG, a German soccer club financial consultancy, and Nipa Capital B.V., a Netherlands-based venture capital firm.
In return for the investment, FC Barcelona divested a 29.5% share in Bridgeburg Invest, the overarching holding entity for Barça Vision.
According to the club’s developers, Barça Vision encompasses the integration of all digital content within the Web3 and blockchain domain, including NFTs and the metaverse. This initiative aligns with the club’s strategy to shape the digital ‘Espai Barça’.
However, it is important to note that this transaction is subject to approval by FC Barcelona shareholders. Pending a successful process, the deal is expected to be finalized in the last quarter of 2023.
Not FC Barcelona’s First Web3 Endeavor
This isn’t FC Barcelona’s inaugural foray into the blockchain realm. Since February 2020, the club has been collaborating with Chiliz blockchain to create Ethereum-powered FC Barcelona Fan Tokens (BAR) to enhance fan engagement.
Just last year, in August 2022, Chiliz solidified its connection with Barça by acquiring a 24.5% stake in Barça Vision, at a staggering cost of $100 million.
In May of this year, they launched their debut NFT collection in partnership with Plastiks. Titled “Unleash Your Passion,” this collection, featuring 3,000 animal-inspired NFTs priced at $30 each, seeks to contribute to “removing 35,000,000 kilograms of plastic from our planet.”
Yet, the digital accomplishments don’t end there. FC Barcelona’s inaugural NFT, “Masterpiece #1 In A Way,” found a buyer at a Sotheby’s New York auction in July 2022, fetching an impressive $693,000. This was succeeded by another collectible, “Masterpiece #2 – Empowerment,” sold on OpenSea in June 2023 for $300,231.