A man with an extremely loyal online following is jumping into sports betting, and no, it isn’t Dave Portnoy.
Instead, it is Jake Paul getting into the industry with a new micro-betting site called Betr. Paul posted about his dedication to the new venture noting that 1. he turned down $40 million from a crypto-casino and 2. he tattooed the Betr logo on his leg:
Paul and Betr liken micro-betting to Tik Tok
In the video and accompanying press release, Paul explained he was not interested in betting until he learned about micro-betting transactions.
“I wasn’t into sports betting until I was introduced to micro-betting,” said Paul, Founder and President of Betr. “Micro-betting is the TikTok-ification of sports betting and I am excited to bring it to the masses through Betr. We are in this for the long haul and are focused on doing things the right way. We are getting licensed state-by-state, adhering to each state’s regulatory framework while advocating for important consumer protections and responsible gambling. We want to be the category-defining consumer company in both sports betting and sports media by the end of the decade and are confident we will achieve that goal.”
The app will begin as free-to-play but work to get licensed in regulated markets in the United States. It’s worth noting that crypto-casinos are not regulated in the US and Paul is choosing to go the more legally accepted route with Betr.
Paul is not going it alone, either. He is partnered with Joe Levy, the co-founder of Simplebet, a B2B platform for micro-betting.
“I co-founded Simplebet to simplify the sports betting user experience – to reconsider why sports betting products felt uninterpretable to the casual fan who had never bet on sports before,” said Levy. “In doing so, we discovered that the technology required to enable a scalable micro-betting platform around the moments that drive U.S. sports did not yet exist, given the global market’s focus was on soccer, a fluid sport without a natural start and stop cadence. So we decided to build it ourselves at Simplebet; however, years later, the user experience remains unintuitive for a mass-market consumer.”
Simplebet will be working with Betr as the company’s technology partner:
“We’re thrilled to be Betr’s technology partner, powering unique in-play betting experiences centered around micro-betting and transforming the way consumers engage and wager on sports,” said Simplebet CEO Chris Bevilacqua. “The combination of our best-in-class technology together with the reimagined user experience, reach, and influence of Betr’s distribution channels will be a powerful force in the market. This partnership features many of the best elements of the rapidly increasing convergence of sports, media, and technology and we are excited to be in the center of it.”
Betr already has $50 million in funding and big content plans
With Paul’s high profile, it is unsurprising the venture already has $50 million in funding. Per the press release, investors include:
- Florida Funders
- Aliya Capital Partners
- Fuel Venture Capital
- FinSight Ventures
- Co-Owners of San Francisco 49ers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Marlins
- Travis Scott
- Ezekiel Elliott
- Richard Sherman
- Dez Bryant
- DeSean Jackson
- Braxton Berrios
- Palm Tree Crew
- Roger Ehrenberg
- Mark Wan
- Russell Galbut
- David Grutman
- Deirdre Bigley
- Gary Barber
- Stronach Group
- Magic City Casino
- Anti Fund
- 305 Ventures
- Elizabeth Street Ventures
- Riverside Ventures
- Moving Capital
- Elysium Venture Capital
- FJ Labs
- Tampa Bay Ventures
- Trog Hawley
Florida Funders is responsible for $30 million of the investment. There are several retired athletes on the list as well as two active NFL players, Elliott and Berrios.
In addition to high-profile investors, Paul also plans to use his following to help build up interest in Betr.
There will be a media wing to Betr which will produce an array of content, including “BS w/ Jake Paul“. The release focused heavily on Paul’s status as a Gen Z influencer, claiming he is, “the most disruptive athlete-influencer in sports and one of the most famous Gen-Z personalities in the world.”
Jake Paul’s controversial past
Paul is not without his controversies, including several related to business. His site designed to educate people how to be social media stars, Edfluence, drew criticism for its business model, which led users to believe it cost $7 but ultimately cost $64 to unlock all content. Accusors have also called him a crypto scammer and suggested he was behind an incident where he claimed he was the victim of scamming related to a box of Pokemon cards.
On top of that, his videos have been accused of being everything from xenophobic to child pornography. He also faces multiple accusations of sexual harassment.
None of these matters have made it into the courts, so it is unclear the impact they might have on the regulatory vetting process Paul will likely need to go through as a key stakeholder in the new Betr venture.