Tampa-based venture capitalist and angel network Florida Funders has led the $50 million investment round for Betr, a sports betting company founded by social media influencer and boxer Jake Paul and tech entrepreneur Joey Levy.
Florida Funders led the $30 million Series A round with a $5 million investment – Florida Funders’ largest check to date. Series A was followed by another round of Series A1 worth $20 million, bringing the total investment to $50 million.
Betr founders Paul and Levy, who founded business-to-business sports betting technology company Simplebet, have billed Betr as the world’s first micro-better-focused app, allowing users to bet on real-time betting during a game. Betting events such as pitches and plays rather than the sole outcome.
“Initially we were excited about the idea of micro bets. Joey as an operator is very smart and has everything you want in a CEO, that’s what got us into it. Then we saw this Jake [Paul] got involved, and we knew it would be a key differentiator in the marketplace,” said Saxon Baum, director of investor relations at Florida Funders. The company previously invested in Simplebet.
“They could cater better to Gen Z – not your typical better one – it’s a new market and with Jake it’s a great opportunity from the marketing side,” Baum said.
The investment was secured after six months of negotiations and communication about Betr’s future.
Miami-based Aliya Capital Partners and Fuel Venture Capital also participated in the $50 million round.
Betr’s additional investors include co-owners of the San Francisco 49ers, Boston Celtics and Miami Marlins, as well as rapper Travis Scott and football pros Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant and Richard Sherman.
The round is expected to close this quarter.
“We are proud of the support and guidance from Florida Funders as Betr continues to grow. As a Miami-based company, local connections are especially important and we look forward to working toward becoming the preeminent consumer-centric startup from the state of Florida,” Levy said in the Florida Funders press release.
Paul, who rose to fame through his viral videos and amassed a cult following of 70 million followers on social media, runs marketing while Levy controls the gaming tech side of the business.
Betr will leverage technology from Levy’s company, Simplebet, which pioneered US esports microbetting by building the machine learning and automation infrastructure to enable this new form of betting at scale.
Using Simplebet’s technology, the Betr app is expected to go live in the coming weeks.
According to a press release, the app will initially be a free-to-play experience available in all 50 states, with a state rollout of the licensed real-money betting experiences to follow later this year.
Baum said the duo plan to also start a sports media company, with Paul hosting podcasts and celebrities promoting the app.
“It’s a parallel strategy where the content feeds into the betting app and that in turn feeds into the content. We see this as an all-inclusive strategy for all sports,” Baum said. “Our goal is to make this a platform for Gen Z and Gen Y to rally around.”