The success of Yuga Lab’s “Bored Ape Yacht Club” might have flown under the radar for people not yet ready for NFT technology, but Fandifi was paying attention. The Vancouver-based gaming and entertainment company is getting ready to launch a gamification platform for fans of live sporting events, with the addition of NFTs to their fan engagement rewards program.
Fandifi (CSE: FDM), which was formerly known as Fandom Sports Media Corp, launched its first live iteration of the platform in January 2022. It was designed as a modular peer-to-peer sports wagering platform, optimized to operate on both iOS and Android mobile devices . Two quarters later, it’s now clear that was just the beginning. “Version One” created a demonstrable platform that showed the breadth of the user experience that Fandifi can provide streaming fans from defined data streams of sports and esports
Eric Ries fans should recognize the business model. It’s classic Lean Startup 101. Fandifi created a “minimum viable product” (MVP), launched it to build a user base and test their business hypothesis, and is now moving into Phase Two. That’s where this story gets exciting. Think of it as sports betting and social engagement on live events meeting Web3 technology.
NFTs Are a Key Component of the New Platform
Professional athletes and teams in major sports leagues are no strangers to NFT technology in sporting memorabilia. Tom Brady’s NFT platform Autograph.io received $170 billion in Series B funding earlier this year. Immutable, an Australia-based NFT platform has a current valuation of $2.5 billion. Even GameStop, the darling of the meme traders, has gotten in on the game.
In October 2021, Fandifi partnered with Polygon, a blockchain framework to build and connect Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks. They made the move to support efficient and scalable minting in their own NFT marketplace, a Web3-based world called FandoMart. Add that piece to the MVP launched in January and you’ll start to see their vision.
Fandifi plans to capitalize on current engagement trends in live streaming, Esports, and live sporting events. The addition of unique NFTs as part of a rewards program is a bonus for the fans, but it’s also a tool for content creators to launch and trade their own NFTs on an interactive marketplace. The collaboration opportunities are unlimited.
Fans will also be able to take advantage of the NFT marketplace by creating their own NFTs of favorite moments during the live events they watch. They’ll be able to do this on the go and in real-time, essentially creating a unique, digital screenshot that they can market or trade. No other streaming platform has that capability right now.
AI Prediction Engine Powers the Gamification Process
The underlying technology that makes all this possible is Fandifi’s neural network based prediction engine that prompts fans to make real-time bets or predictions with friends or other live event watchers around the globe. The company’s tagline is “Play, Predict, and Get Rewarded.” Those fans who engage the most have the greatest chance of earning rewards, including NFTs.
The new platform will allow viewers to play and predict a wide spectrum of their favorite live and pre-recorded events, including MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer leagues. Additional content will include Esports, movies, music, fashion, food, and more. According to Statista, the number of live streaming viewers in the US alone should top 158 million in 2022.
Fandifi is moving quickly on this. The technology partnership with Polygon may have been finalized in October, but the technology has been in place over numerous years in health care, telecom, insurance and supply logisits industries. According to their internal timeline, the gamification and rewards components should be completed by the end of Q2 this year. Fans could have full access to all features by the summertime.
Monetization and Customer Acquisition Opportunities for Content Providers
The size of the addressable market that Fandifi is breaking into is huge. According to the GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile), there are over ten million mobile connections in the world, including cellular IoT. Roughly 5.5 million of those are unique mobile subscribers. Viewed from a macro perspective, those are all potential customers for the new platform.
Of course, Fandifi is “betting” on fans of live sporting events to be their primary users. Statista estimates the market size of the sports betting industry at $203 billion. It currently employs 197,000 employees in over 30,000 businesses. The American Gaming Association (AGA) reported after this year’s Super Bowl that 31.5 million Americans bet on the game.
The launch of a fan engagement platform with an NFT-based rewards system and an AI prediction engine will create new monetization and customer acquisition opportunities for content providers. That includes marketing their own NFTs, offering premium subscription services, and connecting them to fan networks they may not have previously had access to.
Blockchain Technology Makes Fandifi a Player in the Web3 Metaverse
New technology is often difficult to comprehend, slowing down investors and sometimes stagnating the growth of otherwise promising companies. What Fandifi is doing doesn’t fall into that category. Their platform is a combination of the traditional sports betting platform, social media communication tools, and NFT tech that is now widely accepted.
Even the neural network based predictive engine doesn’t pose a big mystery to interested parties. Predictive algorithms and augmented intelligence have been around for years. What makes this platform special is the blockchain-based NFT marketplace integrated into all this traditional technology. It truly makes Fandifi a player in the new Web3 metaverse.
Is the timing right? The Web3 revolution is well underway and the online gambling space doesn’t have a participant yet. Fandifi is positioning itself to be a pioneer in the space. Nothing is a certainty when it comes to technology, but it looks like this company has the right roadmap and a plan to be something very different from what we’ve seen before.
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