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Smarkets raises Series B funding round to supercharge international and domestic growth

George Miller

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Smarkets raises Series B funding round to supercharge international and domestic growth
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Smarkets, one of the world’s largest betting exchange and prediction market platforms, has announced the closing of a significant minority investment from Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE).

Having raised just £3.8m ($5.4m) since its inception in 2008, with its Series A round coming back in 2013, Smarkets has built a leading exchange platform that processes billions of pounds in traded volume each year. The company has offices in London, Los Angeles, and Malta, licensed customer-focused operations in five countries, and in 2019 released innovative sportsbook app SBK.

Smarkets is delighted to welcome SGE, which joins existing investors Passion Capital and Deutsche Telekom in supporting the company’s mission to fix betting with the fairest odds in the industry.

This new investment will allow Smarkets to accelerate its rollout in the US, where it is already live in Colorado with sportsbook app SBK and set to go live in Indiana soon. The funding will also bolster SBK’s position in the UK mainstream betting market after its successful launch in August 2019.

The new investment will contribute to:

Furthering the company’s US presence, including market-access deals in new, regulated states
Capturing an even greater share of the UK betting exchange market and accelerating SBK’s growth in the UK’s mainstream sportsbook market
Expanding Smarkets’ development of new products for customers and focus on industry-leading prices on sports, politics, and current affairs
Continuing to capture the best and brightest worldwide engineering talent with a view to doubling headcount by the end of 2022
Further expansion into new and recently entered markets such as Denmark and Sweden

Jason Trost, founder and CEO of Smarkets, said:

“This is an incredibly exciting day. I’ve always been amazed what the passion and energy of a comparatively small group of committed people can accomplish against much bigger rivals; Smarkets and SBK are the product of exactly that. At Smarkets we have always been guided by our vision of fixing betting with the best prices and products, and SGE is just as excited as us to challenge the status quo. This is a huge endorsement of our technology and will allow us to further upend the industry by offering bets as close to fair value as possible.

“We are super proud of what we have achieved so far in the UK betting space, and this new investment will help take us to the next level and beyond in the UK, US, and other international markets. I’d like to thank the women and men that work and have worked at Smarkets for getting us to where we are.

“I truly believe the best is yet to come. This investment will allow us to fight with greater resources, move faster, and be bolder in our mission. We’re so excited about the opportunities this investment unlocks.”

Scott Feldman, Managing Director with Susquehanna Growth Equity, said:

“We are delighted to be able to join Smarkets on their upward journey. We immediately identified with their vision of using technology to take on the betting industry’s big operators by providing the fairest odds in the world and maintaining a clear focus on product excellence.

“Smarkets have achieved a huge amount with little investment to date and we can’t wait to see them go from strength to strength as they expand further into both the US and UK mainstream market.”

eSports

EsportsBets Partners with Esports Charts

George Miller

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EsportsBets Partners with Esports Charts
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EsportsBets, a Catena Media product and leading source for curated esports tournaments and betting-focused content, is pleased to announce that it has partnered with business intelligence firm Esports Charts (an ESM.one Inc. product). The partnership further strengthens the EsportsBets’ ability to inform and educate its audiences worldwide.

EsportsBets has already established itself as a go-to source for understanding and navigating the growing esports betting space. The esports data provided by Esports Charts will allow EsportsBets.com to further its commitment to offering the most up-to-date information to its vast readership base.

“I’m a great believer in data science and statistics,” said Gianfranco Capozzi, Head of Esports at Catena Media and Product Manager for EsportsBets. “Our users are some of the most inquisitive on the Internet and highly active when it comes to in-depth research — not just on Google, but also on community sites such as Reddit, specialized forums, and social media. This opportunity to cooperate with Esports Charts will give us the chance to back our editorial and publishing efforts, showing that our content is not just sentiment-driven, but also based on actual data.”

Talking more specifically about esports and the gambling markets, Capozzi added:

“Esports bettors are new-age bettors who will ultimately disrupt the market. We need innovation and technology developments able to meet the requirements of this new generation. Thanks to the real numbers and stats tracked by Esports Charts, I am confident that we can also prove to the most skeptical bookmakers, the huge potential of the burgeoning esports market.”

Sergii Rudenko, Head of Sales & Partnership for Esports Charts, added:

“We’re excited to work with EsportsBets and help them achieve their editorial and content goals. Esports Charts is positioned to help the industry in many ways and we will continue to bring value for our clients and partners.”

The global esports betting market is worth approximately $17.2 billion as of the end of 2020, according to Wholesale Investor. As casinos and traditional sporting events continue to adjust to the global pandemic, many organizations — and esports fans — have turned to esports betting as an additional source of revenue. That is why it is crucial that consumers have access to the most accurate data available.

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eSports

BETER enters into strategic partnership with Bayes Esports

George Miller

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BETER enters into strategic partnership with Bayes Esports
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One of the betting industry’s leading provider of fast sports & esports content, live streaming, live data and odds, BETER has brokered a deal with esports data company Bayes Esports. In addition to providing a significant impetus to the further growth of BETER’s esports department, this landmark deal will also allow BETER to supply odds with pin-point accuracy.

According to experts’ latest estimates, total esports viewership is projected to grow 9% annually over the next 2 years and reach 646 million views by 2023. In other words, the esports audience will be double in 2023 what it was in 2017. With this in mind, BETER constantly strives to further strengthen its dedicated esports department and improve the quality of services which it offers.

“We’re proud that we signed a partnership agreement with Bayes Esports. It will definitely help us achieve the goals set for 2021: to maximise the distribution of our content to new clients and markets, including in Asia, where betting also plays a big role. For more than three years, we at BETER continue to make BETERable content, as well as help our clients to harness new market opportunities and provide thrilling content for bettors,” said Alex Barkar, CEO at BETER.

As a part of the agreement, Bayes Esports will supply real-time data for popular esports tournaments to BETER, whereas BETER’s esports trading department will offer odds with even better accuracy and increase open odds uptime to 95%.

“We see this partnership as a great synergy of client-focused services and robust solutions. By combining our technology-driven products and machine learning algorithms with BETER’s trading team’s experience, we will make a real impact in the betting industry,” said Mark Balch, VP Esports Betting Services at Bayes.

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Latest News

Norwich City Terminates Sponsorship Deal with BK8 Sports

Niji Narayan

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Norwich City Terminates Sponsorship Deal with BK8 Sports
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Norwich City has terminated its sponsorship deal with bookmaker BK8 Sports.

The sponsorship deal, which was confirmed last Monday, had been met with widespread criticism by fans of the club, who had uncovered “sexually provocative” social media marketing campaigns published across BK8’s channels.

“The club and BK8 have taken on board feedback from its supporters and partners, and after continued discussions we have agreed to immediately end the partnership,” Norwich City said.

Ben Kensell, chief operating officer of Norwich City, said: “We have worked hard to build trust and engagement through our countless initiatives with our supporters and partners. We place huge value on our open and honest relationships with our community and supporters.

“As a self-financed club there is always a fine balance between generating the revenue levels required to help maintain that model, whilst working within our visions and values.

“On this occasion, we made an error of judgement. Our standards were not at the levels we demand of our football club.

“We can now only apologise to our supporters and former players, Grant Holt and Darren Eadie, who were across the BK8 promotional launch campaign, for any offence caused.

“We remain highly committed to diversity and equality across our football club and its community. We want to continue to embed a highly inclusive culture across the club, together with an accessible and welcoming environment free of demeaning and discriminatory behaviours.”

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