Previously

Member Board Of Directors, Quora
Partner, Glynn 100
1stdibs.com, CFO

Company

Sorare is a fantasy game of football, where players buy, sell, trade and manage a virtual team with digital player cards. Founded in 2018 the game uses block chain technology based on Ethereum, and is already one of the top NFT platforms in the market today. Sorare is building a gaming experience fuelled by passion where fans can connect with football and a global community. The company’s mission is to build the game within the game and to give fans, players, and clubs the platform to celebrate, share, and own their football passion. The platform enjoyed a great deal of growth during the pandemic as clubs needed a new way to connect and engage with fans globally. As a consequence of this, Sorare has signed deals with the vast majority of leading European clubs. With its increased popularity, their card prices began to inflate extremely quickly post launch and in 2021 the platform enjoyed 50%+ month-on-month growth – with no sign of stopping.

Having raised a $50M Series A in early 2021, Sorare went on to raise a further $680M Series B at a $4.3B valuation let by Softbank, and with participation from the likes of Accel Partners and Benchmark, representing the fifth-largest funding round in the crypto industry ever. Backed by sports stars including Serena Williams, Gerard Pique, Antoine Griezmann, Rio Ferdinand, and many more, the platform enjoyed more than $325M in sales volume in 2021, up from $7M the previous year.

Search Background

Having grown at such a remarkable pace and following one of the largest Series B fundraises in history, Sorare were looking to bring on board a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to play a key role in the strategic leadership team. The CFO would contribute to the continued growth of a business that is building an immersive gaming experience fuelled by passion for sports, supporting the Co-Founder and CEO on both strategy development and tactical direction. While the business has built an engaged and huge user group of football fans, in reality what Sorare has developed is a platform that has broad applicability to the sports market in general – presenting a whole multitude of opportunities and challenges for the Exec team.

Requirements

It was clear that Sorare were in need of a CFO who could be proactive in driving the direction of what is possible with finance and, therefore, be a strategic finance leader. They would bring solid experience of serving as a key member of a Senior Leadership Team, be comfortable operating at Board-level and working with investors, and possess strong leadership capabilities. With finance having been outsourced at Sorare for the first few years of its life, the CFO would need to build a function from scratch and, as such, comfort and experience of this process was of significant importance. With Sorare growing from zero to $350M sales in only a couple of years, experience of growth was hugely important to the team. The CFO needed to have been on a growth journey, understanding when to build layers of process and structure without over burdening the business, and ideally will have seen a business through to IPO. Further, the candidate needed to be a strong culture fit for what was a growing and tight knit team – they would be driven and self-motivated, curious and informed, and collaborative and transparent.

Result

After an extensive global search, Sorare appointed Tu Nguyen who had been serving as the Chief Financial Officer at 1stDibs, a leading online marketplace for extraordinary design that went public in mid-2021. Tu has been on an incredible journey to date, having graduated from The London School of Economics and Political Science, she spent the early years of her career in the Strategy Consulting practice at Deloitte in London. Here, she advised major financial institutions and government agencies across Europe and Asia on market-entry strategy, mergers and acquisitions, financial transformation, and financial regulations and policy. Following her time here, she went on to receive an MBA from The Wharton School. In mid-2013, Tu joined 1stDibs shortly after their Series B fundraise led by Spark Capital. Joining initially as VP Finance, Tu progressed at quite a pace and, having become CFO in early-2020, she led the IPO in June 2021.

Tu is a commercial and strategic finance leader, and a business partner to the business – spending most of her time being a true partner to the CEO and the rest of the Executive team. She played a crucial role in the successful IPO, built up what is a high-performing finance team at 1stDibs, learning a great deal about what high-growth environments look and feel like, and more than anything is a superb culture fit for the team. All in all, we’re delighted that Tu Nguyen is joining the team at Sorare and we look forward to closely following their journey together.

Kiana Davari

Head of People

Erevena brought along a strong partnership to the search. The role was especially complex in that the person would both need to build the financial function from scratch but also have seen the kind of scale we were doing in terms of revenue. Erevena were great thought partners and helped us navigate through this complexity, searching in both the US and Europe until we found the perfect candidate, Tu. She has both built the finance function from scratch in her career as well as taken a company through an IPO. We were exceptionally happy with the outcome and would recommend Erevena to other companies.

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