Dream Sports-backed non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, Rario, has received an equity investment from former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. The platform, which solely focuses on cricket-themed collectibles of athletes from around the world, has investors including Dream11's venture investments arm Dream Capital, UK-based Kingsway Capital, and US-based Presight Capital, among others.
The undisclosed strategic investment will also see Tendulkar's collectible NFTs available for trading on Rario's marketplace. The latter will be available under a section called 'The OGs', which features other iconic cricketers such as England's Kevin Pietersen, South Africa's Jonty Rhodes and Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar, among others.
Rario is based on the Rario Chain, an Ethereum sidechain based on the Polygon Edge framework. Polygon Studios is also a partner in Rario, alongside Hong Kong-based gaming venture capital firm, Animoca. The platform claims that since last year, it has sold over 150,000 cricket-themed NFTs.
The investment by Tendulkar, however, comes as global interest in NFTs have fallen significantly since its peak, last year. Data from cryptocurrency market tracker The Block, as of October 20, shows a steep drop in the overall volume and number of NFT transactions around the world.
On popular global NFT marketplace OpenSea, the monthly trading volume of NFTs peaked at $5 billion in January this year. In comparison, September saw NFT trading fall to $358.5 million on OpenSea — marking a drop of nearly 93% in its monthly trading volumes.
However, the drop has been steeper in the valuation of NFTs, which saw prices soar based on towering NFT sales such as artist Beeple's Human One for $28.9 million in November last year, activist Julian Assange and artist Pak's Clock for $52.7 million in February this year, and artist XCopy's 'Right-Click and Save-As Guy' for $7 million in December last year.
Even Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who has since left the company, auctioned his first-ever tweet as an NFT in March last year, finally selling it to crypto entrepreneur Sina Estavi for $2.9 million.
However, valuations have plummeted since then. In April, Estavi attempted to offload his investment by re-auctioning it on OpenSea at an asking price of around $50 million. In return, the highest bid at the time of closing of the auction was at around $14,000 — a drop of more than 99% in the valuation of the tweet.
The drop in valuation is reflected on The Block as well, which shows that while NFT trading valuations have dropped by nearly 93%, the fall in the number of NFTs traded has been less sharp. According to OpenSea data, while the platform clocked 2.47 million NFT transactions in January, the same fell to 1.69 million in September — its lowest this year. The number marks a 32% drop in monthly NFT transactions on the world's largest NFT marketplace.