With established players like FanDuel and DraftKings taking a stronghold of the market, investors have shifted towards startups that can disrupt the sports betting norm, whether it’s through UBet’s decentralized betting platform, nVenue’s live data analytics, or EDGE Market’s tools for responsible betting.
Even in a shaky economy, sports betting and online gambling companies have closed this year about $125 million worth of VC deals, in line with the deal value this time last year and way ahead of 2020, according to PitchBook.
PitchBook tracked the top US VC deals in sports betting and online gambling so far in 2022. Here are the 10 biggest deals through June 28, according to the data:
- Mojo – $75 million. Mojo closed in March a $75 million Series A funding round, led by Thrive Capital. The upcoming sports stock market — which gives bettors the opportunity to bet on athletes like stocks — was cofounded by MLB legend Alex Rodriguez, Bart Stein, Marc Lore, and Vinit Bharara.
- Wagr – $10 million. Wagr is a social sports-betting app where players can bet against their friends for a fixed fee instead of the house. Wagr raised in January Series A funding worth $10 million, which included investments from The Kraft Group and Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment.
- US Integrity – $8.4 million. US Integrity is more of a business-to-business startup focusing on the security of sports betting through bet monitoring and fraud prevention. It closed in April Series A funding from casino and resort developer Las Vegas Sands.
- Vaunt – $7.3 million. Vaunt is a sports and entertainment brand that partners with athletes and entertainers on unique competitions and experiences. It was cofounded by former NBA player Roger Mason Jr. and Omari Ware. Some of the investors in Vaunt’s Series A included InfiniteWorld, former Turner Broadcasting president David Levy, and former National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts.
- EDGE Markets – $3.9 million. EDGE Markets is geared towards promoting responsible betting through tools like spending limits and transaction sharing. It raised in mid-May nearly $4 million in seed funding.
- Gaming Society – $3.5 million. Gaming Society is a sports content platform with a sports betting and gaming angle. It is also keying in on women’s sports through a dedicated section called “Bet On Women.” It was founded by The Players’ Tribune cofounder Jaymee Messler and NBA legend Kevin Garnett. Investors of its latest seed funding round include Acies Investments and TLI Bedrock.
- nVenue – $3.5 million. Startup nVenue uses machine learning and data analytics to predict the action in a live game. Its data can be used for sports betting or media; it powers the odds probabilities in Apple TV+’s MLB broadcasts, for example. Corazon Capital and KB Partners were the investors in nVenue’s latest seed funding round that closed in March.
- UBet – $2.7 million. UBet is a decentralized sports-betting platform with odds created by an algorithm that’s based on the market. Its $2.7 million seed funding round closed in May. Investors include former DraftKings director Dan Hannigan-Daley, Shima Capital and GSR Ventures.
- Bet Booth – $2.2 million. Unlike the other startups on the list, Bet Booth’s isn’t only focused on the digital landscape. Bet Booth, which secured in June more than $2 million in seed funding, looks to make sports betting and fantasy sports more accessible through physical kiosks similar to ATM machines.
- Sports Gambling Guides – 2.0 million. Sports Gambling Guide is an affiliate social media marketing company in the sports gambling space. It closed in June $2 million in funding from Astralis Capital, a VC firm targeting esports and gaming.