Week 17, 2023

Here's what we saw, heard, and read in the betting industry's early-stage ecosystem last week

Heya! Here’s what went down last week in Betting Startupland ⤵️

📰 Headline news

New milestones from early-stage companies in the space:

  • STX launches the first regulated betting exchange in the province of Ontario following AGCO approval. (Link)

  • Jake Paul’s Betr brings on the Cavinder twins as equity partners. (Link)

  • Karate Combat closes $18m led by Bitkraft Ventures to build Web3, mixed reality live sports. (Link)

  • Fantasy Sports Logic and Toppem Sports announce strategic alignment. (Link)

  • 3 startups have been shortlisted for the Ifrah Pitch competition at the EGR North America Spring Briefing on April 27. Good luck to Sparket, ALT Sports Data, and CashComment! (Link)

Back to the STX launch in Ontario: we asked STX founder Justin Deutsch to tell us what the milestone means to him and his team:

"Receiving our first license in a competitive jurisdiction like Ontario is a major accomplishment for the team. When we look back on this milestone it will mark an inflection point for the industry as we shape the future of sports betting in North America. We are beyond excited to start the next chapter of the STX journey where we provide Ontarian bettors the most fair and engaging experience in the market while simultaneously executing our expansion plans into regulated U.S. markets."

STX founder Justin Deutsch for The Betting Startups Newsletter

📚 Recommended reads

  • WagerWire cofounder Travis Geiger goes deep on the topic of community in the world of sports betting. (Link)

  • The Wall Street Journal profiled Anna Sainsbury and David Briggs, cofounders of GeoComply, and their journey building a billion-dollar business. (Link w/ paywall, sadly)

Are you reading (or writing) something interesting that you think belongs here? Hit reply and send it to us for inclusion!

🗓️ Industry event calendar

Upcoming events that have a focus on industry startups:

Free admission - apply now!

  • 🚨 Last call to register! GeoComply launches the Challenger Series Summit in partnership with Citi on May 8 in NYC. Learn from the industry’s top gaming experts as they help you navigate through business challenges, including the complex regulatory environment. Want a taste of what you will experience? Watch the trailer and learn more here.

  • SBC Summit North America returns to NJ May 9-11. As always, the First Pitch competition will showcase live pitches from 5 industry startups. Use promo code BSP23 for $200 off your ticket. Event details & agenda.

  • The team at iGaming NEXT has now released the official agenda details for the much-anticipated annual flagship event, iGaming NEXT Valetta. Join over 4,000 industry leaders June 21-22 for this can’t miss event in sunny Malta! Event details & agenda.

  • The Canadian Gaming Summit descends on Toronto June 13-15, which also includes First Pitch. Industry startups are invited to apply for the competition until April 30. Same deal: promo code BSP23 to claim your discount. Event details & agenda.

  • SiGMA Asia will host 100 startup companies as part of its Startup Village project at the Manila expo in July - which of course features a pitch competition! See event details.

🤝 Deal corner

Can you help us connect to qualified leads for these opportunities?

Now Raising:

  • 💥 New this week! Early-stage operator raising new funding to help facilitate expansion into selected US markets. Available for meetings at SBC to discuss further with qualified investors.

  • Early-stage industry startup with product + existing relationships with leagues and sportsbook operators. Closing seed round in the next month. Less than $300k left unsubscribed, 50k minimum.

  • Betting-focused B2C mobile app raising 500k. Live product with 5-figure downloads, revenue, and solid team.

Buy & Sell:

  • For sale: portfolio of 20 betting-focused website properties, 19 social media channels w/ 70k combined followers, email list w/ 16k opt-ins, and more. Low-to-mid six figures. Offers accepted until April 30.

  • Now buying: [redacted] is in the market for properties to purchase or JV with. Especially interested in sports-specific properties with a decent .com presence, and some local, and/or regional domain authority around legal teams or markets.

Looking for investment, or have a relevant deal to share? Reply w/ deets and we’ll get you in.

🔍 Featured founder

He is a recovering lawyer-turned-entrepreneur who is on a mission to build “the first sports betting super app”. This week’s Featured Founder is Evan Kirkham, co-founder & CEO of Outlier.

On finding success without a business model
Outlier’s origins can actually be found in a product called Colorcast, which was a social sports talk app that let people commentate live games. They found success with over 10k MAUs, but didn’t have a scalable business model. Recognizing the changing fundraising environment, Evan realized that they “needed really strong revenue generation, if not profitability” to get to the Series A stage.

Executing a risky pivot
Reaching over 10k MAUs for a consumer app is difficult to do, which made the prospect of pivoting a risky one. But Evan knew that it was a necessary one, and thus the team built what is now Outlier before sunsetting Colorcast. Luckily, many of the existing Colorcast users embraced Outlier, and he is encouraged by the early results of the pivot.

Centralizing the sports betting journey
The way Evan sees things, the sports betting journey has 3 distinct phases: ideating, analyzing, and executing. For the most part, these phases happen in different places, and the opportunity he sees for Outlier is to centralize them all into one experience.

On product-led growth tactics
He has intentionally built his team to be very product-focused, with over half of the team occupying technical roles. This has allowed them to quickly iterate on the product, and Evan attributes the early success of Outlier to organic product-led growth coming via word-of-mouth.

Hear Evan tell his full story on Ep. 66 of The Betting Startups Podcast:

Apple Podcasts
🟢 Spotify
🌐 Old fashioned web browser

C’est fin! We’ll see ya again around the same time next week ✌️

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