For the average fan who enjoys a few wagers on game day, the sheer volume and depth of the available sports analytics can be overwhelming, making it more difficult to decide on their picks rather than helping them to choose. Four friends from Montreal not only recognised the problem, they’ve actually done something about it by launching the Linemate app.
It is designed to cut through the noise and enable fans to engage with analytics in a quick and straightforward way, meaning even those entirely new to betting can make informed selections.
This democratization of data has proved to be a hit. Since launch in September 2022, Linemate has achieved more than 60,000 app downloads and first-time web users, despite not spending a cent on advertising.
The Linemate team – Matthew Konya, Calvin Konya, Dimitre Bogdanov, and Johnson Ta – have also impressed industry experts, with the accolades heading their way including victory in the SBC First Pitch competition at June’s Canadian Gaming Summit.
Now, the team have launched an additional feature named Discover, which is designed specifically with the new bettor in mind.
“The whole ethos of Linemate is that we support the 9-5 sports fan, the fan who wants to make smart, data-fueled bets on the weekend, but who is too busy with everyday life to spend hours wading through complex analytics for their research,” explained Calvin Konya.
“What we do is simplify the research process by providing a platform that makes it easy to engage with sports analytics. If you want to find that hidden gem in the data that will give you a winning selection, you need to know where to start looking – and that’s what our app offers, a simple starting point that even those completely new to betting and analytics can understand.”
Since launch, the app has attracted a strong audience of experienced sports bettors keen to try anything that helps them to drill down into the data before they make their picks. That is not where Linemate’s founders see the biggest market opportunity though, which prompted them to develop the new Discover feature.
“We realized that the competition was mostly only speaking to the experienced bettor, which means no-one is effectively engaging with the new users that the betting industry needs to attract to achieve its ambitious growth forecasts,” Konya continued.
“People are putting too much faith in the idea that sports fans will intuitively understand how to bet. While we believe it’s an inevitable form of consumption of sports, we realize that many fans will need help to get to grips with wagering – which is why we developed Discover, a new opening layer for our app.”
Discover uses the kind of format that consumers have grown used to by searching for flights and accommodation on aggregators such as Expedia and Kayak. The travel industry has seen how engaging this model is for consumers and the Linemate team believe it will work just as well for betting.
The key to its application in the world of wagering is simplicity. Discover guides the user from content discovery, to consideration, to research, right through to a transaction on a sportsbook, helping new bettors to navigate their way through the jargon-filled world of parlays, player props and moneylines to make truly informed decisions.
“We guide the sports fan to find their bet through simple narratives – such as, ‘find a goalscorer in play today’. This prompts only the top analytically-backed plays, which can be scrolled through in the form of sports cards, each displaying their unique bet proposition – always backed by analytics,” said Konya.
“So fans scroll through the top plays of the day in a manner that resembles social media consumption. From there, they can make their bet, decide not to risk their bankroll until they’ve seen the next day’s top plays, or progress into the deeper research parts of the original Linemate app.
“Effectively, app users are opening a pack of cards featuring the day’s best bets. It’s simple, it’s engaging, and above all, it’s fun.”
The fun element of it is important. As sportsbooks search for ways to reach new customers that don’t involve huge acquisition costs, Linemate offers something different.
“We are unlike any other app in the space, because we’re designed to attract the attention of new users,” Konya said. “But we don’t stop at that entry level and once fans start to become more accustomed to researching their picks, they can progress on to deeper research with both team and player analytics in Linemate’s custom workstations.”
The app currently has data from the big four North American sports leagues, together with a host of soccer leagues from around the world, to provide a comprehensive guide to bettors. Despite the broad offering and intuitive functionality, bettors do not have to pay to use the Linemate app.
“We are a freemium model. Our competitors for the most part find themselves behind paywalls, but we don’t believe in creating an additional barrier to entry when data, analytics, and the cost to bet are barriers in themselves,” Konya added.
“Our app is entirely free, but along with the launch of Discover, we created a Linemate+ option which is an upgrade allowing you to access the top plays of the day in the entire app in one sorted, personalized feed.
“Fans can choose to pay for speed and immediacy, but we don’t charge anyone to access our product in the same way that competitors do. We have a true freemium model.”