Le Lézard
Subject: SPORTS

Karate Combat Raises $18 Million in Funding From BITKRAFT Ventures to Increase Engagement Between Fans and Sports Leagues Using XR Technologies and Web3 Tools

ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands, April 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Karate Combat, a live-action, full-contact martial arts sports league, today announced an $18 million funding round led by BITKRAFT Ventures, with additional participation from Delphi Digital, The Operating Group, Alpha Wave Global, Hashkey, Lattice, M13, Santiago R Santos, RooxieXBT and others. Prior investors include the League's founders, Packy McCormick's Not Boring Capital, and Keyboard Monkey. The funding will be used to support the May 10th launch of the Karate Combat App and $KARATE token.

Founded in 2018, Karate Combat is the world's premier full-contact striking league, blending the excitement of live-action, full-contact karate with immersive CGI environments powered by the Epic Games' Unreal Engine. Through the use of XR technology, Karate Combat is able to transport viewers into a virtual world where they can experience the excitement of martial arts in a way that was never before possible. Its live broadcasts mark the first time a sports league has blended extensive real-time virtual effects with real-life athletics.

With 4.5 million followers and 10 million views per event, the league is streamed and broadcast to over 100 countries worldwide. Distributors include Eurosport, Globo's Combate, MatchTV, BeIN Sports, CBS Sports, and ESPN Deportes. The League has approximately 100 full-time exclusive fighters which include world champions like Rafael Aghayev, Raymond Daniels, Luiz Rocha, and Ross Levine as well as UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten as the league's lead announcer.

Karate Combat is the first sports league structured as a decentralized autonomous organization ("DAO"), with token holders having control over the direction of the league. On May 10th, the company will launch the Karate Combat UP Only Gaming App and $KARATE token. As part of the new app, fans can collect free $KARATE tokens. The $KARATE token both governs the League and gamifies the live viewing experience. Holders of the $KARATE token can use the league's smart contracts, web apps and mobile apps to vote on fighters, earn additional $KARATE tokens with no risk of loss, and boost their favorite fighters' potential prize pools, above and beyond their contracted pay.

"Karate Combat has done a great job fulfilling the need of sports content for younger fans in a manner vastly different from traditional sports. We are thrilled to now have BITKRAFT Ventures, a distinguished investment firm led by a team of venture capitalist heavyweights, in our corner and believe the DAO will continue to supercharge our ongoing success and create a new category of entertainment within Web3," said Robert Bryan, Karate Combat Co-Founder.

"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," commented Carlos Pereira, Partner at BITKRAFT Ventures.

For more information on Karate Combat, please visit https://www.karate.com/

About Karate Combat
Karate Combat is the world's premier full contact striking league, blending the excitement of live-action, full-contact Karate with immersive CGI environments powered by the Epic Games Unreal gaming and virtual production engine. Olympic medalists and national champions from around the world are just some of the elite black belts invited to compete in eight different weight divisions in pursuit of a Karate Combat World Championship. The league is streamed and broadcast to over 100 countries worldwide. Karate Combat is owned by the Sensei Foundation, a Cayman Islands Foundation Company, and a subsidiary of Sensei Foundation BVI, a trust established in the British Virgin Islands.

About BITKRAFT Ventures
BITKRAFT Ventures is a leading global investment platform for gaming and Web3 according to research from InvestGame and Drake Star Partners. Founded by industry pioneer Jens Hilgers, BITKRAFT serves a worldwide network that spans many of the industry's forward-thinking startups and founders?including former executives from the likes of Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Epic Games, Google, and Apple who are working to build and operate the virtual worlds and economies of the future. BITKRAFT operates four venture funds with a total of over $600M in assets under management and has over 100 companies in its global portfolio as of August 2022. BITKRAFT's experienced international team works closely with exceptional entrepreneurs to create significant value through early candid partnerships, unique domain experience, entrepreneurial history, and a global ecosystem of strategic partners. Find out more about how BITKRAFT and its portfolio companies are pushing the boundaries of Synthetic Reality® by visiting https://www.bitkraft.vc/vision.

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