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Online soccer game GOALS has announced a $15 million seed round. Northzone, a global venture capital firm that has backed Spotify, Klarna, Trustpilot and Homa Games, led the round with participation from former investors Cherry Ventures, Moonfire Ventures, Banana Capital and new investors Not Boring Capital and Cassius. The round includes notable angels such as FC Barcelona star Gerard Pique, Sorare co-founder and CEO Nicolas Julia, Axie co-founder and COO Aleksander Larsen, metaverse expert Matthew Ball and authority from web3 Magdalena Kala. The funds will allow GOALS to double its workforce by recruiting 30 more game developers by the end of 2022.

GOALS is a fast-paced, multiplayer soccer game primarily for PC and consoles that offers players a unique and engaging way to own in-game digital assets while they play. With a focus on faster and more responsive gameplay, GOALS sets itself apart from existing football games by creating a fun, competitive and rewarding experience. As a free-to-play, cross-platform game, GOALS offers gamers and football fans a completely seamless opportunity to enjoy the beautiful game like never before.

Through the use of eco-friendly blockchain technology, GOALS enables true digital ownership of in-game assets. These in-game assets are earned for free through play and can be used in-game or traded freely at any time. .

“We are thrilled to announce a funding round by an incredible group of fantastic VCs and angel investors,” said GOALS Co-Founder and CEO Andreas Thorstensson. “We were in the very lucky position where investors contacted us before we actually raised funds, so we were able to choose those we felt were the best fit for GOALS. Current investors have the perfect combination of expertise in games, sports, web3 and business growth. With GOALS, I’m building the business of my dreams. It combines my deep interest in sports, games, esports and new technologies. After playing the most soccer games on the market and watching the esports scene for a long time, I could see that gamers deserved something new. GOALS is a gameplay-driven soccer game. Free to play, cross- play, multiplayer and esports ready where players can finally own their in-game items instead of renting them.

Football and games are respectively two huge markets. With 3.5 billion football fans and 2.9 billion gamers, the estimated market for virtual goods in this space is valued at nearly $190 billion. The big players have bet big on realism and licenses to maintain their positions in the market. That leaves huge space for companies like GOALS to deliver an esports-ready product that offers the accessibility and non-stop action of other online giants like Rocket League. GOALS’ play-and-own business model is uniquely positioned to serve the emerging NFT market, which itself is expected to reach $80 billion by 2025. Gamers will own their players and teams to participate in online professional leagues.

“Andreas has gathered a stellar team around him. They identified a unique opportunity at the intersection of the metaverse and soccer, the world’s greatest sport. Web3 and the technology behind innovations like NFTs will propel the next generation of businesses into this space and GOALS is poised to become a leader in its own category,” adds Pär-Jörgen Pärson, Partner at Northzone and serving on the board of administration of GOALS.

“GOALS represents a rare investment opportunity. The game they’re building is original and fun, and their growth and business model is truly impressive. Andreas is as impressive a founder as I have ever met, he has a solid vision and a clear plan for execution. From a personal perspective as well, this intersection of football, gaming, esports and NFT covers a lot of what I find fascinating. I’m really looking forward to where we go from here,” says Mattias Ljungman, Founder of Moonfire Ventures.

“GOALS isn’t just a game, it’s a team on a mission,” says Sophia Bendz, Partner at Cherry Ventures, who also led the pre-seed phase of GOALS. “In just a few weeks, GOALS grew its audience to over 25,000 people on social media and thousands upon thousands on Discord. GOALS creates something that people have wanted for a long time. We’re thrilled to be with them on their journey to creating a new football game that people love.

Founded in late 2021, GOALS has already built a team with an impressive skill set and track record of success in entrepreneurship, engineering, game development, gaming, esports and web3. This funding will allow them to grow further in the field of game development. As a gaming startup, GOALS has taken the initiative to provide a diverse and inclusive workplace to better attract developers from competing companies.

Casey J. Nelson