Weeks 43 & 44, 2023

Popular bet tracking app pivots into B2B, $100 million in matched bets, and 3 new deals

Greetings, friends! We’re back in the saddle with the latest from the betting industry’s early-stage ecosystem.

This issue is brought to you InPlay Innovation, who are using AI to fully automate in-game micro-markets, correlation pricing, and advanced risk management.

Now let’s dive in… ⤵️

📰 Headline news

  • Underdog CEO Jeremy Levine calls Fanduel and DraftKings “corporate monopolists” following regulatory action on pick ‘em DFS games. (Link)

  • Gamified loyalty provider Scrimmage goes live with peer-to-peer sports and social gaming platform Kutt. (Link)

  • Vault, the popular bet tracking app, has announced its pivot into a B2B technology provider. (Link)

  • Prophet Exchange announced that it surpassed the milestone of $100 million in matched bets on its platform:

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 last week:

  • 🎙️ Ep. 2 of The Gamble & The Glory featured Smarkets founder Jason Trost, who discussed his 16-year journey building Smarkets into a £20m/yr business, how he “screwed up the strategy in the US”, and his side project as host of The Business of Betting podcast. Listen now (41:54): Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Web

  • 🎙️ Ep. 88 of The Betting Startups Podcast featured Rourke Struthers from GameBlazers, which is empowering sports fans to create and manage their own experiences. Listen now (37:58): Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Web

  • 📚 Dan Zimmermann, founder of DFS platform Verse Fantasy, declared that we have entered the era of “DFS 3.0” amidst current pick ‘em re-regulation efforts. (Link)

  • 📚 Waterhouse VC published its monthly update for October, which focused on the world of local heroes and the benefits they pose for operators. (Link)

  • 📚 Online casino startup Blixx Gaming talks female leadership. (Link)

  • 📚 TechCrunch looks at why Comcast built an accelerator to nurture sports tech startups. (Link - paywall)

  • 🎥 Joel Simkins from Houlihan Lokey discusses M&A and capital in the gaming space on Nasdaq TradeTalks ⤵️

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

This issue is brought to you by InPlay Innovation, the frontrunner in AI-powered sports gaming technology. We're using advanced AI to build the ultimate second screen experience.

Learn more about the only full-stack solution for micro-SGPs and uninterrupted in-play markets at inplayinnovation.com

💼 Great gigs

3 of the top jobs we saw last week with awesome growth-stage companies:

  • Ontario’s first regulated betting exchange, STX, is looking for a Senior Mobile Engineer. (Link)

  • Social casino platform Blazesoft currently has 16(!) openings across numerous functions in its Canadian offices. (Link)

  • HotStreak is looking for engineers of the frontend, backend, and data varieties. Remote friendly! (Link)

🗓️ Industry event calendar

Upcoming events relevant to early-stage companies in the space:

  • SiGMA Malta goes down next week in, well, Malta. Join 25,000+ expected delegates November 13-17 for a packed agenda, which includes a startup pitch competition in front of 30+ VCs. Pitch details.

  • ICE makes its swan song appearance in London February 6-8, 2024 before relocating to Barcelona in 2025. Get your free expo hall pass now and put it on the calendar! Register now.

  • NEXT Summit New York returns March 6-7, 2024 in a new state-of the-art venue in Manhattans financial district. The summit is focused on connecting startups with investors and operators with suppliers, which makes it THE conference where serious business gets done. Ticket info.

🤝 Deal corner

3 new deals for your consideration, including our first-ever domain name offered (and it’s a big one). Take a look 👇

(Psst, founders: want to get your deal in an upcoming issue? Submit details here)

  • 🆕 Raising: Early-stage startup transforming season-long fantasy sports seeks $1.5m strategic investment as it looks to scale in 2024. Product went live in September and is seeing strong week-over-week growth and retention.

  • 🆕 Raising: US-based slot distributor that holds a contract with a top 5 operator in Michigan where it has received a provisional gaming license. Seeking $250,000 for a 4.9% equity share and a 10% royalty until fully repaid to expand into New Jersey, Ontario, and Pennsylvania, aiming for significant growth in the online casino industry.

  • 🆕 For Sale: Owner of domains draftpick-com and draftpicks-com selling both domains as package deal. Cash and/or equity in a future development project would be considered. Owned media assets with 21m subscribers could be made available to drive traffic to site.

Existing deals that are still open:

  • Raising: Leading provider of odds/pricing data is raising a $2.5m seed round to scale already growing operations with Tier 1 sportsbook operators, sports leagues, and global media properties. Minimum investment target is $250k, with some exceptions for strategic investors.

  • Raising: AI/ML-powered Responsible Gambling solution, focusing on early detection and management of at-risk players, effortless regulatory compliance, and real-time automated interventions. Backed by a team with 50 years of combined gambling experience, our early-stage startup is actively seeking a $500k investment to advance product development and widen market reach.

  • Raising: Esports gaming and influencer betting site with complete custom built technology and fully UK licenced. Early traction achieved with 100+ users, over 1000 bets and a betting handle of over £27k within 2 months. Minimum £50k, valuation negotiable.

Are you an investor that wants more details on these opportunities? Hit Reply and we’ll tee up an intro.

(also: our lawyers told us to say that none of this is investment advice, and we have not vetted the opportunities presented here. DYOR.)

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