he co-founders of FanDuel Nigel Eccles and Rob Jones have raised a $5 million Series A funding for their new company, Flick, which the founders said will be used to add features that include linking up with sports betting sites.
The company was founded in 2018 by Eccles and Jones. Flick's chat platform allows sports influencers to authentically engage with their fans during live games, The Herald Scotland reports. The app gives sports influencers a place to grow and foster a loyal and engaged fan-base within their own branded space.
“Flick is the future of sports entertainment,” said Nigel Eccles, co-founder & CEO of Flick. “Flick creates a virtual sports bar experience, bringing fans together to hang out for live games, letting them chat, cheer and compete with each other. It creates the sense of community and excitement that we’re all missing at the moment.”
The funding comes at a time of rapid growth for the company. “The pandemic has caused a disconnect and people are seeking ways to be part of a community – specifically in the sports world where fans are no longer able to banter with their friends and other fans in person or attend live games,” said Rob Jones, co-founder & CPO at Flick. “Since May, we’ve seen a significant uptick in our user base growing 45% month on month and engagement growing 10x in the same period. Many of our influencer-hosted chat groups, like AFTB and TalkFCB, host over 5,000 sports fans every day.”
In addition to the raise, Kevin Ryan, serial entrepreneur and founder & CEO at AlleyCorp, will join Flick’s board of directors. “It is rare in venture to find people like Nigel and Rob who are such proven entrepreneurs with deep experience and expertise in the market they are addressing,” Ryan said. “We are excited to join them as they build out the company.”
Eccles added: “With the new round of funding, the company plans to expand its team, integrate with sports betting, and build out the platform across multiple sports and geographies. In the last two years, sports betting has exploded in the U.S. However, unlike off-line betting, online sports remains quite a solitary and transactional experience. Betting on a sports betting app is about as much fun as paying a bill with your banking app. With our expansion into sports betting we plan to change that.”
Flick's headquarters are in New York. It is built natively for both iOS and Android users and is used in over 180 countries in particular the United States, United Kingdom, India and Australia. The app has grown fastest among soccer fans in Europe, with individual team groups reaching up to 10,000 users. The company has raised $9 million to date.
Eccles, who left FanDuel in 2017, said that as FanDuel was growing into one of the two leading players in the billion-dollar business, it did away with a live-chat option that showed promise. “At the time we were growing fast, and chat just seemed hard to manage,” Eccles said, as reported by Crain's New York Business. “But we regretted not being able to capture the fun and excitement of talking with other fans during a game.”