Week 27 & 28, 2023

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

Welcome back! This week’s issue is actually two weeks’ worth of updates. Think of it like a two-game parlay… 😂

📰 Headline news

  • The big news: Better Collective acquired sports content media platform Playmaker HQ (and its 20 million+ followers) for $54m. (Link)

  • Ultimate Odds launches its fantasy sports product in 42 states. (Link)

  • Blockchain betting platform SX Bet launches “the world’s first peer-to-peer parlay betting system”. (Link)

  • No-code automation platform Flows partners with sportsbook software provider Altenar. (Link)

  • Australian operator Dabble launches esports betting with a little help from PandaScore. (Link)

  • Microbetting startup nVenue will integrate its short-form betting content into sportsbook platform provider SB22. (Link)

We checked in with Ultimate Odds co-founder Jonathan Bierig following the recent launch:

The launch of our product in 42 states and our recent success on the app store has truly been remarkable to us. Our vision is for the game we offer to truly reinvent head-to-head and pool-like competitions. We are giving our users a game that combines the thrill of sports betting, the competitiveness of march madness pools, and the community of fantasy sports all into one experience!

Jonathan Bierig, co-founder Ultimate Odds

Are you an industry startup with news to share? Send us your PR for inclusion here.

💬 Ink & airwaves

The best of what we read and listened to this week:

  • 🎙️ Ep. 73 of The Betting Startups Podcast featured Martin Burt from ClearStake, which provides accurate, real-time customer risk profiling. Listen now (29:19): Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Web

  • 📚 New Crunchbase data reveals that global VC funding for Q2 is down 49% YoY, and down 51% YoY for the first half of 2023. (Link)

  • 📚 USA Today examines the popularity of NRFI bets (“No Run First Inning”), featuring comments from Alex Monahan of OddsJam. (Link)

  • 📚 iGaming NEXT gets Lloyd Danzig’s latest thoughts on the funding landscape for industry startups. (Link)

  • 📚 The Earnings & More newsletter published its always-insightful Startup Month issue for June, which included a Q2 funding roundup. (Link)

  • 📚 Dan Taren from Scrimmage talked to SBC about how its gamified loyalty platform is being received by operators. (Link)

  • 📚 Sure, the proposed fight between Zuck and Musk makes for salacious headlines, but don’t expect to bet on it. (Link)

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

🔍 Featured founder

He is a three-time founder that successfully exited his first two companies, including QL Media. Now for his current at-bat, he’s swinging for the fences as one of iGaming’s newest operators. This week’s Featured Founder is Justin Park, co-founder & CEO of Betty.

Investor transparency and buy-in
When it comes to attracting investors for any new business opportunity, perception is key. Justin always marketed his first two ventures as “singles or doubles” in terms of market opportunity. He notes that this honesty and transparency resonated with his investors, who understood and aligned on the scale of the opportunity he was pursuing.

Swinging for a home run
With Betty as his third startup, Justin is very clear about the fact that this isn’t a single or a double. He sees a large TAM for a female-focused online casino brand, and is determined to capture it. With Justin’s track record and his ability to articulate the vision clearly, investors saw an opportunity to be part of something groundbreaking in the industry.

Leading his own round
Betty raised a $1.8m seed round earlier this year, with Justin personally contributing half of the proceeds. He believes that leading Betty’s funding round sends a powerful signal that he believes in the opportunity, has confidence in his team’s execution, and is willing to take risks. He also believes this allows him to have more control over the direction of the company and make better decisions as CEO.

His advice for first-time founders
According to Justin, one of the best pieces of advice he received was to simply "get a W" - in other words, make some money and put some points on the board. He believes that many first-time founders tend to overthink valuation and dilution. Instead, they should concentrate on generating revenue. By doing so, they are demonstrating the value and potential of their business. Valuation is undoubtedly important, but it's essential to prioritize making money and achieving tangible results.

Hear Justin tell his full story Ep. 70 of The Betting Startups Podcast:

Apple Podcasts
🟢 Spotify
🌐 Web

💼 Great gigs

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

  • 🆕 Sports trading services provider Huddle is looking for sports traders in its Nevada office. (Link)

  • ThriveFantasy is looking for a senior software engineer. Salary range of $160-190k. (Link)

  • Novig is a YC-backed company that recently closed a $6m seed round, and they are hiring across a variety of roles. (Link)

That’s a wrap for now! We’ll be back next week at the same-ish time. In the meantime, stay cool out there in the summer heat 😎