Jake Paul-backed micro-betting start-up raises $50m ahead of B2C launch in US market

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A new sports betting operator is set to enter the US market in the coming months with support from social media influencer turned professional boxer Jake Paul and Simplebet founder Joey Levy.

Betr announced today (8 August) that it has raised $50m in Series A funding from a slew of high-profile investors, including VC firms Florida Funders, 8vc and Aliya Capital Partners, as well as famous US athletes such as the NFL’s Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant, Desean Jackson and Richard Sherman.

The brand is aiming to become the first direct-to-consumer (B2C) sports betting operator focused exclusively on micro-betting in the US market. It is also destined to feature a second, separate arm designed to pump out sports-themed media for a new generation of bettors.

“Betr is setting out to disrupt legacy gambling and legacy media, with a mission of making sports and betting betr,” the company said in a statement.

The brand will leverage B2B supplier Simplebet’s micro-betting technology, which allows customers to place bets on brief and specific sports moments – such as pitches and at-bats in MLB, or plays and drives in NFL.

Betr founder and CEO Joey Levy: “I co-founded Simplebet to simplify the sports betting user experience – to reconsider why sports betting products felt uninterpretable to the casual fan who had never bet on sports before.” 

The brand said that Simplebet’s proprietary machine learning and automation technology will allow this new form of betting to exist at scale.

“I co-founded Simplebet to simplify the sports betting user experience – to reconsider why sports betting products felt uninterpretable to the casual fan who had never bet on sports before,” said Betr founder and CEO Joey Levy.

“In doing so, we discovered that the technology required to enable a scalable micro-betting platform around the moments that drive US sports did not yet exist, given the global market’s focus was on soccer, a fluid sport without a natural start and stop cadence.

“So we decided to build it ourselves at Simplebet; however, years later, the user experience remains unintuitive for a mass market consumer.”

Betr is therefore seeking to “unbundle” the micro-betting experience by delivering the product via a simple, intuitive UI layer. 

Levy added that he believes micro-betting will ultimately emerge as the predominant way customers bet on US sports, and that the upcoming launch of Betr provides an opportunity “to build the most capital efficient and culturally relevant gambling business in the US.”

In addition to its betting operations, Betr will offer a new generation of celebrities and influencers – co-founder Jake Paul included – the opportunity to create sports-focused media aimed at a younger demographic of potential bettors, who would not otherwise seek out the “legacy sportsbook product experiences”, which Betr said are currently on offer in the US.

The firm’s media arm will allow it to create additional revenue separate from its sports betting business via sponsorship and advertising. Its flagship show, BS w/ Jake Paul, has already broadcast its first preview, and will be the first of several programmes launched by the brand in the future.

Despite having no video uploads, the dedicated YouTube channel already boasts 2.4 million subscribers.

Betr has has already started to assemble an executive team of industry veterans, with Alex Ursa joining the business as head of product from FanDuel, where he helped to secure the brand’s market-leading position in US sports betting.

Betr founder and president Jake Paul: “Micro-betting is the TikTok-ification of sports betting and I am excited to bring it to the masses through Betr. We are in this for the long haul and are focused on doing things the right way.”

Mike Denevi has also joined the business as head of media from Bleacher Report, where he helped grow the BR Betting brand’s leading social media presence.

Paul said of the launch: “Micro-betting is the TikTok-ification of sports betting and I am excited to bring it to the masses through Betr. We are in this for the long haul and are focused on doing things the right way.

“We are getting licensed state-by-state, adhering to each state’s regulatory framework while advocating for important consumer protections and responsible gambling.

“We want to be the category defining consumer company in both sports betting and sports media by the end of the decade and are confident we will achieve that goal,” he added. 

Betr will release its free-to-play app across all 50 states in the coming weeks, with locally licensed real-money wagering launches expected to follow throughout the remainder of the year.

The brand said it has already secured market access in multiple states through strategic equity-based partnerships, the details of which are yet to be announced.

About the author

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Conor Mulheir

Conor entered the gaming industry in 2018 producing high-level live event content for audiences in London, Amsterdam and São Paulo. From 2020, he went on to report news and commission exclusive content for various gaming media brands before joining iGaming NEXT as editor in January 2022.

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