Karate Combat has raised $18 million to fund its full-contact martial arts league that features combatants in immersive CGI environments. The league’s (mixed reality) XR technology, powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, represents the next step in blending real-time virtual effects with live sports.
The round of funding will support the May 10th launch of the Karate Combat app and the league’s $KARATE token. Karate Combat is structured as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) — a first for a sports league. Fans can earn $KARATE through the app and by watching matches. The goal is to reward the league’s most active fans and to gamify the experience.
Stakeholders will be able to weigh in on the direction of Karate Combat. Fans can use their tokens to back different fighters and boost potential prize pools beyond contracted pay. Further, fans will be able to compete against each other and climb the league’s leaderboards.
Karate Combat in context
Bitkraft Ventures led the round, while Delphi Digital, The Operating Group, Alpha Wave Global, Hashkey, Lattice, M13, Santiago Santos, RooxieXBT and more participated. Additionally, the League’s founders, Packy Mccormick’s Not Boring Funds and Keyboard Monkey previously invested in the league.
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“Sports league value largely emerges from the quality of the competition, and the passion and loyalty of the fan base. Karate Combat is leveraging its Web3 tools and ethos to shift how fans engage with their favorite sports by building direct relationships, aligning incentives and enabling influence over every aspect of the league. More than that, it’s doing it with an incredibly fresh and differentiated media that strikes all of its fans as ‘videogames meet MMA’, making it a fun and doubly-innovative new partner for Bitkraft,” said Carlos Pereira, partner at Bitkraft Ventures.
To date, the league has amassed 4.5 million followers and broadcasts to over 100 countries worldwide. Sports leagues around the world are experimenting with XR technology, creating another bridge to the video game industry. Karate Combat has the following, emphasis on audience participation and XR technology to be a proving ground for the next generation of sports leagues.
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