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Fast Break Labs Raises $6 Million for Web3 Sports Gaming

Last Updated: July 5, 2023
The funds will aid in the growth and development of player-owned sports games like the Virtual Basketball Association that bring togethercollectibles, sports, and Web3 technology.

An emerging Web3 startup, Fast Break Labs, has announced the closing of a $6 million seed round co-led by early-stage venture firm Patron and blockchain-focused fund Pantera Capital.

Fast Break Labs is a Web3 startup focused on building player-owned games. The company was founded at the end of 2021 by Charles Du and John Wu. With the pair being fantasy basketball enthusiasts, the two found themselves imagining how they’d make decisions being a team owner or general manager. In time, Fast Break Labs was born and its first product — the Virtual Basketball Association (VBA) — was released. 

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“We’re setting out to create a sports game that offers all basketball fans an opportunity to have a true ownership experience,” said Du, CEO of Fast Break Labs, in a release. “While we’re primarily focused on creating a new and fun experience, it was also really important to us to give power back to gamers by allowing them to shape the direction of the game and accrue the economic benefits.” 

The VBA empowers fans to serve as general managers of their own virtual basketball teams and compete for rewards through simulated games. Users build their rosters by drafting and trading collectible, fictional athletes, each of whom possess unique attributes and skill levels. To make the game accessible and intuitive, the VBA takes a user interface fantasy sports enthusiasts will recognize and integrates it with Web3 technology. Aspiring GMs will additionally have the opportunity to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world in crafting original storylines for their VBA players. 

Sample screenshot of Fast Break’s Virtual Basketball Association lineup selection interface

All of this bought allowed Brian Cho to buy into Fast Break Labs. “The intersection of crypto, games, and sports presents an incredible amount of potential,” said Cho, co-founder of Patron in a statement. “We are confident that this amazing team, with its deep passion for Web3 and basketball, will build a compelling experience that will delight all players and fans of the space.”

The recent funding will facilitate the continued growth of the team, and both the development and deployment of the VBA. Other participants in the early round include:

  • Collab+Currency
  • Solana Ventures
  • South Park Commons

Angel investors include:

  • Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai’s Family Office (Blue Pool Capital)
  • Marc Merill (Co-Founder of Riot Games)
  • Aneel Ranadive (Sacramento Kings Co-owner; Founder of Soma Capital)
  • Ryan Spoon (COO of Sorare), John Robinson (President and COO of 100 Thieves)
  • Thomas Vu (Riot Games)
  • Jason Choi (GP at Spartan Group)
  • Wengie Huang (Co-Founder of Nyan Heroes)

The inaugural VBA draft of digital collectable players will open in March to 2,000 GMs for the platform’s early Alpha, also known as Season0.

“Pantera is proud to support Fast Break Labs and its vision to democratize the ownership, control, and economics of sports gaming,” said Paul Veradittakit, partner at Pantera Capital. “As a  fantasy sports enthusiast myself, I am excited to see this group continue to elevate engagement across the intersection of collectibles, sports, and gaming on the blockchain.”

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About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a former Staff Writer at Boardroom specializing in sports business and music. He previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester, and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" -- Hampton University — is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.