Week 24, 2023

What's what this week in the betting industry's early-stage ecosystem

Wowza, lots going on this week! Not to mention we’re in the midst of peak conference season - this week’s edition comes at you from 36k feet following the Canadian Gaming Summit in Toronto…

Kk, let’s run it down: ⤵️

📰 Headline news

  • The Canadian Gaming Summit just wrapped, which included the First Pitch competition. 3 startups pitched their wares to a five-person judging panel, and the winner of the $60k prize package was… Linemate.io! Congrats to them, and fellow finalists FlexFantasy and We The Bookie. (Link)

  • Rithmm, the AI-driven sports betting technology startup, recently raised $2 million in seed funding. (Link)

  • ThrillTech, the startup founded by happyhour.io co-founder Benjamin Bradtke, has unveiled its first product: an icasino jackpot solution called ThrillPots. (Link)

  • Industry startups Sparket and Scrimmage announced a new partnership that will see the integration of Scrimmage’s gamified loyalty system into the Sparket platform. (Link)

  • BetDEX exchange has launched “highly requested” tennis markets to its blockchain-based platform. (Link)

  • The Techstars Sports Accelerator announced its 2023 cohort of companies, which includes betting industry startup, SoBet. (Link)

We asked SoBet founder Cooper Lycan for his thoughts on what this means for him:

"Being selected by the Techstars Sports Accelerator program is a significant achievement as we are approaching our 1-anniversary. We've proven market fit and are driving significant revenue, lowering our burn rate, and rapidly shortening our path to profitability. As more and more states in the US legalize sports betting, emerging platforms like ours can enter the market with new ideas and business models. The acceptance into this program highlights the growth potential in this industry and the willingness to support newcomers and challenger brands. Gaining access to a network of industry leaders and experts who are willing to share their insights will help us diversify our revenue streams, and scale faster and better."

Cooper Lycan, CEO & Founder, SoBet

💬 Ink & airwaves

As noted in last week’s issue, the ‘Recommended Reads’ section now includes podcasts, which means a rebrand was in order. Thus, welcome to the inaugural section of Ink & Airwaves: our picks for the week’s top articles and podcasts!

  • 🎙️ Ep. 70 of The Betting Startups Podcast featured Justin Park, a multiple-time founder that is currently building Betty. Guest hosted by Benjie Cherniak, the episode is an inspirational story for any founder building in the space! Listen now (38:59): Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Web

  • 🎙️ Ep. 69 of The Betting Startups Podcast is also worth plugging: it features Geoff Doyle from Bettor Vision, who provided probably the most vulnerability of any guest yet with his story of bombing a big pitch (his words, not ours!). Listen now (35:03): Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Web

  • 📚 USBets published an excellent profile piece on Jeremy Levine, the founder of Underdog, which chronicles his journey starting (and selling) multiple companies within the space. (Link)

  • 📚 In a similar vein, Unabated published an insightful profile on its cofounder Peter Jennings, who has had several successes across both DFS and betting - including being the first DFS millionaire winner at DraftKings. (Link)

  • 📚 The Globe & Mail profiled props.cash founder Pete Smaluck, who tells his story of pivoting careers from teaching math to building his betting research app (Link)

  • 📚 In yet another quality founder profile, Sports Handle shines a light on Matthew Holt of U.S. Integrity, and the work being done to protect the integrity of sport. (Link)

  • 📚 The BetCrunch newsletter interviewed Jesse Learmonth (yes, I’m referring to myself in the third-person tense) on the betting industry’s early-stage ecosystem, and some other related topics. (Link)

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

🐦 A timely tweet

In the face of a challenging funding environment, Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky shares some perspective that others might find helpful in these trying times:

(the Airbnb market cap currently sits at a cool ~$82 billion at the time of writing…)

🤝 Deal corner

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

  • Early-stage operator startup with product + Mexican license + experienced management team. Closing pre-seed round soon, less than $250k left unsubscribed, $25k minimum.

  • Seed investment opportunity in early-stage innovative P2P sports betting platform taking a unique and novel angle on the sector. Product, users, and partnerships established and growing. Raising $250k.

  • 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.

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

💼 Great gigs

New jobs from leading early-stage companies in the space:

  • SharpRank is on the hunt for a Front-End Software Engineer (remote okay!) (Link)

  • ShotQuality, an early-stage data company that uses AI and computer vision to extract precise location data from video feeds, is seeking a Sales Director. (Link)

  • MetaBet, which creates betting engagement tools for publishers, is looking for a Senior Developer. (Link)

Alright, we’ll cut it there and save some for next week.

Safe travels to all going to/from industry events in Toronto, Malta, Brazil, and Amsterdam! ✌️

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