Fanatics Sells Its Majority Stake In NFT Firm Candy Digital - Sportico

Fanatics Sells Its Majority Stake In NFT Firm Candy Digital – Sportico

Fanatics has sold its 60% stake Candy Digital, the NFT platform that it launched in 2021.

The company’s equity was purchased by a group led by billionaire Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin told employees Wednesday in an email, which was viewed by Sportico. The email cites a few reasons for the move, including what Rubin called “an imploding NFT market” and doubts that NFTs are sustainable as a standalone business; competing goals of Candy investors; and a desire to preserve relationships with other shareholders that came to Candy via Fanatics.

Fanatics co-founded Candy Digital in June 2021 alongside Novogratz, one of Wall Street’s most notable crypto investors, and digital media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Four months later, the company was valued at $1.5 billion in a funding round that included prior Fanatics investors SoftBank and Insight Partners.

The email didn’t specify a valuation in the Fanatics sale, though it does imply a number lower than that $1.5 billion. Representatives for Fanatics, Candy and Galaxy Digital didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The move comes amid a market reset for cryptocurrency, and more specifically, sports NFTs. Monthly sales for NBA Top Shot, the first major sports NFT product, fell to $2.2 million in December after highs of $224 million in February 2021.

The new reality has caused many in sports to reset their ex