PrizePicks secures strategic equity funding from biggest names in poker

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DFS platform PrizePicks has announced the close of a strategic round of equity funding by a group of investors highlighted, said the firm, by some of the most prominent names in the world of high-stakes poker.

The founding team from Poker Central and PokerGo are the latest poker luminaries to recognize the synergy between poker and DFS. They join a list of PrizePicks investors that includes Hall of Famers Phil Hellmuth and Jack McClelland, popular streamer Jeff Gross and Brian Balsbaugh, founder of Poker Royalty, the first management agency for poker players.

CEO Adam Wexler said: “Our cap table has become a final table. We couldn’t be more confident in the way we’re positioned strategically for 2021 and beyond and that’s in large part due to how we’ve chosen to align with a diverse set of equity investors rather than a strict venture financing path.”

He added: “This gives us a lot of flexibility for the future should we choose to expand our brand beyond DFS as FanDuel and DraftKings have. The alignment with the poker industry and these stellar investors will benefit both sides in both the short term and the long should we move into areas such as sports betting and icasino.”

The funds will be used, among other things, to increase staffing, grow the executive team and platform innovation which will include several patents. The company closed 2020 with five consecutive record-setting months in terms of traffic, engagement and revenue despite the ongoing challenges that COVID-19 has caused to the professional sports and live entertainment industries.

Joining the poker coalition in this latest round of financing is a mix of individuals such as former NBA champion-turned-entrepreneur Andrew Bogut, previous investors such as Phoenix Capital Ventures and Parlay Capital Holdings and a venture firm affiliated with Magic City Casino, a major south Florida casino operator that announced a partnership with PrizePicks earlier this year around its Magic City Jai Alai offering.

“While sports fans are overly focused on the public companies in this category, it’s the emerging groups doing things a bit differently who can shake things up and win over time,” said Bogut, the first pick in the 2005 NBA draft and a world champion with the Golden State Warriors in 2015.

“It reminds me of how we built it in Golden State – smart, strategic moves to build a highly complementary group who could reinvent the way championships are achieved.”