October 18, 2021 Sports Betting, Online, DFS

Sports betting startup GridRival raises $3m

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Operator will target motorsports wagering, DFS starting in 2022 season.

GridRival, a sports betting startup dedicated exclusively to motorsports, on Monday announced a seed round of $3m led by prominent Chicago-based sports-tech fund KB Partners.

Additional participants identified by GridRival include Sharp Alpha Advisors, ESPT Ventures and other seasoned sports betting investors and executives, including Lloyd Danzig and Benjie Cherniak.

The company said in a statement more than 500m consumers around the globe tune in to some form of auto racing every year.

“Together with motorsports, sports betting and fantasy sports have been experiencing explosive growth,” the company said. “Armed with 120,000 users and $3m in new capital, GridRival is poised to take advantage of this trifecta of perfect timing.”

The motorsports app got its start as a free-to-play, season-long, fantasy sports platform. Officials said they plan to use the new funding to launch the app’s first real-money games in the US and UK in 2022, while simultaneously adding additional racing series.

In an industry known for high user acquisition costs, the team at GridRival asserted they have found a formula for building a loyal audience. Their active players grew by 2,000% YoY at the start of the 2021 season, with 60% of new users for 2021 stemming from viral growth. The company said its growth and engagement figures caught the eye of prominent sports betting thought leader and investor, Lloyd Danzig.

“Sports betting operators are currently amidst a customer acquisition gold rush, in which the focus is increasingly being directed toward finding large, untapped audiences,” Danzig said in a statement. “GridRival has proven itself capable of targeting and engaging the motorsports fan base at scale with an authentic, full-featured app.”

Steven Ahern of KB Partners added, “The number of global racing fans is huge, but they are currently underserved by existing platforms that focus almost exclusively on traditional sports. We are thrilled to partner with the GridRival team as they build the first truly authentic fantasy sports and sports betting experience for this audience.”

Ross Fruin, CEO and co-founder of GridRival, said, “As a lifelong motorsports fan who has been watching the DFS and sports betting craze from the sidelines, I knew one thing was clear – if any brand was going to engage the racing audience in a meaningful way at significant scale, it must be done with a platform exclusive to motorsports. We plan to be the authentic, real-money gaming platform that race fans will actually resonate with.”

GridRival’s ambitions go beyond betting, Fruin added. “Our vision is to be ‘the home screen’ for the fans who use our platform. In addition to real money gaming, we want GridRival to be the hub that our users come to for motorsports-related content and community.”

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