By Nancy Dahlberg
A couple of months ago, we reported that Victoire Cogevina, the CEO of a soccer social media startup, had moved back to Miami – “the best American city for football.”
Today, Cogevina, who co-founded Gloria with Matias Castello (pictured above), announced the startup has raised a $3 million seed round, led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six Fund. Participating in the round were Garry Tan’s Initialized as well as several celebrity players and executives “from top teams in the US and Europe,” she said. Ohanian and Initialized were early investors in the startup and Ohanian has been serving on the board.
“Our vision is bold. We believe we can connect billions of people in one place and build the home of football online.” she said in her announcement on social media. “To our investors, new, existing and repeated, thank you for your support, your conviction and for dreaming big with us.”
Cogevina founded Gloria, a social media app for soccer players and fans of the world’s most popular sport, in Miami in 2018. Soon after, however, she relocated to San Francisco to build her startup, she told Refresh Miami earlier this year. “I met my first angel investor at the World Cup and he convinced me that I would find my business partner and investors in San Francisco,” she said. She did. But Miami lured her back last year.
Gloria, now in closed beta, is slated to make a soft launch this year and is aiming to fully launch in time for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The startup is currently hiring for developers, designers and a community manager. Gloria allows players, from amateurs to professionals, to upload videos of themselves playing, and it has a newly created Communities section, “which has a lot of similarities to Reddit, so it’s been amazing to have someone like Alexis guide us,” Cogevina told Refresh.
Ohanian is also South Florida resident now and named his new firm after the year of the first Olympic Games. He broke the news on Twitter about Seven Seven Six's new investment in “the go-to app for all things football,” saying Cogevina's passion and experience (she co-founded a women-led sports agency and is also United Nations ambassador for gender equality in soccer and on the board of Women in Sports Tech) make her a "no-brainer' choice to lead Gloria, part of the exiting second-wave of online communities in development, he said. "When built intentionally, these online communities are not only as real, but actually more real than the offline ones."
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