Jump Trading backs fan tokens startup Chiliz

LONDON (Reuters) - Proprietary trading firm Jump Trading has made an equity investment in Chiliz, the blockchain company that issues tokens associated with various sports teams, the companies told Reuters on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - AS Roma v AC Milan - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - February 28, 2021 AC Milan's players huddle before the match REUTERS/Alberto Lingria/File Photo

The investment amount was not disclosed.

Malta-based Chiliz is known for powering a platform called which offers tokens to soccer fans, enabling them to participate in polls hosted by the clubs, or receive rewards and promotions. Some of the tokens are listed on cryptocurrency exchange Binance and some Korean exchanges.

The company also issues a cryptocurrency called Chiliz that is used to buy the so-called fan tokens.

Chiliz has soared more than 2100% to around $0.41 since the start of the year, with interest in the coin as well as the company’s fan tokens growing this year amid a wider rally in cryptocurrency prices.

Bitcoin has roughly doubled in price since the start of the year, last month hitting a record of nearly $62,000, with more mainstream investors betting it will gain wider adoption.

Chicago-based Jump Trading has been active in cryptocurrencies for several years. It has been market making - providing bid and ask quotes and liquidity - for tokens issued by Chiliz since early 2021, the companies said.

Chiliz CEO Alexandre Dreyfus said the platform can help sports team engage and generate revenue from a broader range of fans.

“The Chiliz blockchain and our consumer-facing product grew massively in the last few months in terms of users, user spending, but also in terms of new sports partners like AC Milan, FC Barcelona, and Manchester City,” Dreyfus said.

“Jump Trading investing in the sports crypto space is a recognition for us and of the industry, that this market is just at its beginning.”

Reporting by Anna Irrera and Tom Wilson; editing by Jason Neely