Binance has invested in Maltese eSports tokenization platform chiliZ, the startup announced on June 5. The platform allows sporting entities to tokenize and grant voting rights to their fans, essentially letting the fans actively participate in the decision-making processes of their favorite teams. Citing a common belief that the video gaming industry is one of the prime areas for blockchain integration, chiliZ announced that the two companies will also share resources, especially because they have both set up shop on the blockchain island of Malta.
A $110 Billion Industry
Making the announcement via a blog post on Medium, chiliZ described its platform as one that will allow fans, game enthusiasts and viewers to take charge of their favorite teams, with partnership discussions already underway with existing eSports leagues. The platform derived its inspiration from socios, a system used by two of the biggest soccer clubs in the world, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Barcelona has over 170,000 socios who actively participate in the decision-making process of the club, while Real Madrid has over 90,000.
With more than 2.2 billion gamers around the world, the video gaming industry generates more than $110 billion annually. This vast industry is thus ripe for blockchain integration, chiliZ asserts. Binance and chiliZ both target the same user demographic – educated and affluent millennials with an interest in digital currencies, which makes the partnership even more strategic, the startup adds.
chiliZ successfully completed a funding round in April which raised $27 million through early private placement of the company’s eSports venture. The investment by Binance is, however, very significant, as it will not only provide the funds required for global expansion but also enable the company to tap into the exchange’s vast global team, which will inject innovation and technical knowledge into the startup. With Binance also being one of the most renowned players in the global crypto industry and the biggest global exchange by transaction volume, chiliZ will also get some crucial publicity which will help drive its global agenda.
The CEO of chiliZ, Alexandre Dreyfus, expressed his excitement about the partnership, which he claims will help the startup move faster.
Binance’s significant investment in chiliZ will boost our current private placement offering and help us to move faster. Their support will help us deliver our vision globally, increase our visibility in the blockchain ecosystem and empower our technical vision. I’m also excited that Binance is setting-up in Malta, where we will be able to share resources, enabling a more strategic partnership.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao described chiliZ as a creative way to embrace blockchain technology. With the startup building tools and services that target an industry with a massive global growth rate, he expects it to spur the mainstream adoption of blockchain tech. He also pledged Binance’s full support for the project, stating that the exchange will work closely with the 25-member chiliZ team to make it a success.
Binance recently announced a startup fund focused on blockchain projects which will be administered by the exchange’s incubation arm, Binance Labs. The $1 billion fund will utilize BNB tokens and invest in blockchain-focused funds as well as blockchain startups directly. The fund has already invested in four startups which include MobileCoin, Oasis Labs, and the Republic platform, all of which are using blockchain technology to solve some of the most pressing challenges today.