Entrepreneur Kiat Lim has launched the world’s first professional football decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), dubbed CO92 DAO, to allow fans to own a stake in the popular sport.
Backed by Kiat’s father, Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, and members of Manchester United’s Class of 1992, including Gary Neville and Nicky Butt, CO92 DAO will distribute tokens to football enthusiasts, allowing the fans to participate in the decision-making for projects supported by CO92 DAO.
“The purpose of CO92 DAO is to make football fan ownership accessible to everyone,” Neville said in a statement issued on Monday. “We have access to unique sporting projects and want to work together with fans to create value together.” These projects may include football clubs with high growth potential as well as football-related technologies and ventures, according to CO92 DAO.
DAOs have modernized and digitized investing by leveraging the blockchain technology used in cryptocurrencies. By using tokens, DAOs can offer investors more affordable and inclusive access to professional sports, an asset class that traditionally had been available only to high net worth individuals in closed circles. There’s no minimum sum required to invest in the CO92 DAO tokens, which will be made available to the public soon, CO92 DAO founder Kiat Lim said in reply to questions from Forbes Asia.
“The DAO structure democratizes professional sports ownership and breaks traditional barriers to allow more opportunities for involvement,” Kiat Lim said in an earlier statement. “Building on the principles of an ownership economy and leveraging Web3 technology, we are creating a more inclusive and engaging environment for fans to be involved in decision-making, participate in the whole ecosystem of the game, and share in all the aspects of success together.”
CO92 DAO is the second football venture formed by Kiat and Peter Lim, 68, a sports enthusiast who owns Valencia CF, since launching ZujuGP—a digital platform for football endorsed by Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo—in October. “CO92 DAO is the only way that the community can participate in the high-growth projects that the Class of 92, Peter and myself can provide access to by aggregating our years of experience and high-level personal networks in the industry,” Kiat Lim told Forbes Asia by email.
With a net worth of $2.6 billion, the elder Lim ranked No. 15 on the list of Singapore’s 50 Richest that was published in August. After cashing out of palm oil giant Wilmar a decade ago, Lim, a former stockbroker, focused on property, healthcare and sports. He owns Singapore hospital operator Thomson Medical Group and a boutique luxury hotel in the heritage building of the Northern Stock Exchange in Manchester.
Kiat Lim, 28, is the executive director of Thomson Medical and CEO of Thomson X, the healthcare provider’s digital platform. Last month, the younger Lim partnered with Elroy Cheo—a scion of the family that owns edible oils firm Mewah International—to create ARC as an exclusive community of Asian entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, Web3 developers, cryptocurrency experts and social media influencers.