Data and micro-betting technology platform nVenue raised $3.5 million in late February through a seed round co-led by Chicago-based venture funds KB Partners and Corazon Capital. The funding round will accelerate technology development as the Dallas-based startup aims to roll out new sports in preparation to capitalize on widespread sports betting.
nVenue describes itself as a female-led and founded technology platform harnessing the power of sports machine learning and AI to generate predictions and outcomes for every play of a game.
“nVenue is thrilled to work with KB Partners and Corazon Capital to change the world of watching, interacting, and betting on live sports,” said CEO and Co-Founder Kelly Pracht. “With this round, nVenue is scaling our tech by adding sports to the roadmap as well as offering the first of many unique sports-tech-smart features that will increase engagement and handle.”
According to Pracht, the seed round makes up part of the roughly $4.4 million overall the company has raised thus far, reports Dallas Business Journal. A veteran of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the executive sees a growing potential for the technology with the rise of sports betting and the opening of new markets.
“nVenue’s micro-betting technology will unlock previously unimaginable ways for fans to engage with the games they love,” said earlier this month Sam Yagan, co-founder of Corazon Capital and former CEO of Match Group. “nVenue’s novel algorithms differentiate it from anything else available in the market and unlock widespread sports betting opportunities.”
nVenue’s proprietary sports machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms leverage historical sports data layered with live data inputs from the field to quickly and accurately generate probabilities for every outcome of each play of a game, according to a press release.
The NextPlay data feed allows for both media and betting operators to offer up “thousands of new betting opportunities” (micro-markets) in addition to engaging game and betting content. The startup currently offers its NextPlay API products to sports media and sports betting operators for MLB and NFL games.
The company is seeking to make the best of the opportunities made available through recent legislation, which has made micro-betting legal in a growing number of states, making it possible for users to bet on small, in-game events. “Speed and scale are often concerns of real-time betting, areas that nVenue places a particular emphasis on,” the business says.
“Real-time micro betting fans will be the fastest-growing part of the sports gambling industry,” John Garabedian, partner at KB Partners stated. “Success in this segment will require unique and compelling offerings from a dedicated team. At KB, we have a huge focus on micro-betting technology platforms. nVenue is the best that we have seen.”
Completing the round is described as a major milestone for the company, which was founded in 2018. nVenue was a member of the inaugural Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator in 2021, and soon after made its on-screen debut during the 2021 MLB Playoffs. Together with NBC Sports, the business premiered the first of its kind pitch-by-pitch predictions live on-air during an Oakland A’s and Chicago White Sox broadcast.
“The opportunities to produce engaging betting content, entertain fans and help drive betting revenue are endless,” Pracht told the cited source. “The involvement of media in real-time analytics is especially interesting. Showing fans predictive outcomes in broadcasts intrigues sports fans in new ways and is the first wave of preparing us all for these next levels of engagement.”
The new funding will be used largely to hire additional developers to scale technology and add more sports to its lineup, with a plan to actively invest in additional patents and IP, state licensing for sports betting; while also focusing on business development and expanding partnerships. Basketball and the NBA are next in the product roadmap.