The social media influencer, now turned boxer, participated in Simplebet’s latest $30 million financing round, Simplebet announced Thursday in a press release. The investment is being led by his Anti Fund, which includes former UFC executive Nakisa Bidarian, now running talent advisory firm Bavafa Sports. Bidarian is also former CEO of Fertitta Capital, where he led an investment into The Action Network. Serial entrepreneur Geoffrey Woo is also part of Anti Fund.
Woo and Bidarian will join Simplebet’s Board, as Director and Board Observer, respectively.
As the industry gains more mainstream appeal and acceptance, the internet personality is taking a chance with the company, which specializes in micro-betting. Co-founded in 2018 by Chris Bevilacqua, Joey Levy, and Scott Marshall, the B2B product developer uses machine learning and automation to enable individual moments throughout sporting events to become betting opportunities.
"In a world-where capital is increasingly becoming a commodity, it is important to us that our next capital partner accelerate the mainstream adoption of micro-betting. Pumped to be working closely with Jake Paul and Geoffrey Woo," said Simplebet co-founder Joey Levy.
The capital injection brings Simplebet’s total to about $80 million. Previous investors include gaming company Aristocrat, Starbucks Chairman Emeritus Howard Schultz and tennis legend Andre Agassi.
In a world where capital is increasingly becoming a commodity, it is important to us that our next capital partner accelerate the mainstream adoption of micro-betting. Pumped to be working closely with @jakepaul @geoffreywoo @antifundvc https://t.co/fKSYejSodA— Joey Levy (@joeyslevy) August 26, 2021
Earlier this week, the company signed a multi-year deal with DraftKings targeting the NFL, MLB and NBA for micro-betting products, including play-by-play, throw-by-throw and pitch-by-pitch throughout a sporting event. The agreement also features “the first micro-betting products available” for collegiate sports.
On the importance of the deal, Chris Bevilacqua, CEO of Simplebet, said: “We’re thrilled to be launching our real-money micro-betting products with DraftKings. These type of offerings represent the next evolution of sports betting and deliver enhanced opportunities for operators and fans alike.” He further described the agreement as a “game-changer” for the company.
Recent funding is being used to enhance the company’s existing NFL, MLB and NBA products by adding new derivative micro-markets, introducing new subcategories of micro-markets and expanding engineering resources; as well as exploring further strategic opportunities and launching new sports with plans for ice hockey, soccer, golf, tennis and combat sports.
Moreover, the business has also added new high-profile executives with industry experience to its board of directors: Jim Murren, former Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International earlier this month; and Pat Ramsey, Non-Executive Director at Aristocrat, earlier this year.
Paul’s Anti Fund, first started in March, has made so far more than a dozen mostly small investments, with the Simplebet one marking a difference. “This is definitely the biggest round we’ve led so far,” said Paul in an interview, reports Bloomberg. “We’re just increasing our check sizes, increasing our deal flow and increasing how involved we’re getting into companies.”