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Fast Break Labs Announces $6 Million Seed Round Co-led by Patron and Pantera Capital

Fast Break Labs, an emerging web3 startup focused on building player-owned sports games, announced the close of a $6 million seed round co-led by early-stage venture firm Patron and blockchain-focused fund Pantera Capital.

Founded in late 2021 by Charles Du and John Wu, Fast Break Labs is the brainchild of the ex-Meta teammates’ longtime obsession with sports and gaming. As the fantasy basketball enthusiasts envisioned the hypothetical decisions they’d make as professional team owners, the idea for Fast Break Labs and its first product, the Virtual Basketball Association (VBA), were born. Du and Wu quickly assembled a talented roster, including several experts who have competed in the former’s fantasy basketball league for nearly a decade.

The new game allows basketball fans to strategize as general managers of their own virtual basketball teams and compete for rewards via simulated games. Users build their rosters by drafting and trading collectible, fictional athletes – each with unique attributes and skill levels. To make the game accessible and intuitive, the VBA integrates traditional fantasy sports UI with web3 technology. Aspiring GMs will also have the opportunity to bridge the real and digital worlds and crafting original storylines for their VBA players.

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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. “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.”

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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, and Angel investors Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai’s Family Office (Blue Pool Capital), Marc Merill (Co-Founder of Riot Games), Aneel Ranadive (Sacramento Kings Co-Owner and 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), and others.

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“The intersection of crypto, games, and sports presents an incredible amount of potential,” said Brian Cho, co-founder of Patron. “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.”

“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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