Free-to-play fan engagement start-up Tally Technology closes $4m funding round

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Fan engagement business Tally Technology has closed an oversubscribed $4m Series Seed funding round led by Acies Investments.

Acies Investments is a specialist venture fund focused on the sports wagering, sports technology, iGaming and esports industries.

So far, the fund has invested in businesses including Challenger, Nerd St Gamers and Midnite across esports.

Tally Technology was founded in 2018 as a free-to-play prediction game for operators, as well as professional sports teams, leagues and media platforms.

Free-to-play prediction games have become a popular marketing tool in US sports betting. Customers are more likely to engage in real-money gambling if they are already playing sports-themed games for free on the same website.

Tally’s free-to-play customers can earn points by correctly forecasting events during live sports fixtures, for example by predicting whether an NBA basketball player will make or miss their next throw.

The company is using these games to build a database of unique users while gathering data on their gaming, wagering, brand preferences and consumer spending, which is also of interest to gambling operators and commercial sponsors.

Over the last four years, Tally has recorded over 20 million predictions from unique users across North America and Latam.

It already boasts fan engagement partnerships with the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Lakers, among others.

Tally will use the $4m cash injection to invest in its data platform, expand operations and build a wider variety of game types.

Acies Investment co-founder Dan Fetters: “We recognise that North American sports betting operators are the primary audience for this rich fan data, but the addition of sponsors looking for meaningful activation on a global basis is truly game changing.”

Brad Vettese, CEO of Tally, said: “Each year almost $50bn is spent globally on sports sponsorship with little way to measure the brands’ resonance, and no real accountability in its ability to build a sustainable, valuable relationship with fans. Tally builds that critical bridge.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Acies Investments who have great experience within sports technology and sports betting. They will be a major asset as we continue to grow and help our partners build stronger and more engaged audiences.”

Acies has also provided financial support to Underdog Fantasy and Gaming Society, two of the start-ups involved in the inaugural Hot 6 panel at iGaming NEXT NYC ’22, where six of the hottest companies in iGaming faced questions from a judging panel of investors.

Chris Grove, who is a managing partner at Acies Investments, hosted that panel.

Grove works alongside a leadership team at Acies including former MGM Resorts chairman and CEO Jim Murren and two co-chief investment officers in Dan Fetters and Edward King.

Fetters said: “We are excited to partner with Brad and the Tally team who have created an exceptional system of fan engagement and data management that goes well beyond the simple prediction games of the past.

“We recognise that North American sports betting operators are the primary audience for this rich fan data, but the addition of sponsors looking for meaningful activation on a global basis is truly game changing,” he added.

About the author

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Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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