December 9, 2021 Sports Betting, Legal, Partnerships

Big gaming industry names believe in FanUp

By

Investors behind DraftKings, Skillz and The Score participate in $4m round.

FanUp, Inc., a mobile gaming company operating in the US and India, on Thursday said it closed its oversubscribed Seed II Round of $4m.

The company said the funding round was led by several industry titans, including Accomplice (DraftKings, Skillz), Alumni Ventures Group (Circle - Crypto), John Albright (co-founder, Relay Ventures, lead investor in The Score), Ruttenberg Gordon Investments, and the Carpenter Family (former owners of the Philadelphia Phillies).

“The superstar roster of investors was captivated by FanUp's game-changing approach, meteoric rise, and appeal to young professionals and casual fans — the most coveted demographics,” the company said in a statement, while noting since it launched its iOS app in February, it has acquired more than 100,000 users, surpassed $5m in revenue and topped 45m views on TikTok.

According to the company’s research, 52% of its user base is women, and 34% of customer acquisition is organic. Users reportedly launch the app in all 50 states and every Canadian province 12 times a day, with 35 daily touch points, from contests and parlays to GIF battles and group play.

Officials said FanUp's latest round of funding will be used for marketing and growth across sports, esports, pop culture and brand partnerships, building upon the popularity of in-app interactions with Fanatics, Peloton, Mirror, Nike, Louis Vuitton, and Lululemon.

FanUp also will expand its team, which it said has expertise in gaming, product design, technology and D2C at Fortune 100 companies.

“FanUp is like Nadal at the French Open or Federer at Wimbledon — it just wins,” David Ruttenberg, managing partner, Ruttenberg Gordon Investments, said in a statement. “It is exciting to invest in a team that consistently crushes all their goals. The app is brilliant, with the best UI and innovation in the game. We look forward to being an integral part of FanUp, and believe that FanUp will continue growing toward being a mobile gaming empire for every type of fan.”

Tej Bodiwala, founder and CEO at FanUp, added: “As sprachgefühl (shprak-ge-fool) defines the essential character of a language, we have re-defined the character and natural idiom of gaming by variegating the gaming experience to include perspectives that appeal to every type of fan, specifically 18- to 34-year-olds, who help grow our industry. The Seed II raise is a catalyst that helps us on our journey to even greater accomplishments moving forward.”

Bodiwala went on to thank his team, individuals he said have the same “voracious appetite for winning” that he does.

“We are inspirited by our traction, investors, success, and, most of all, by our customers and their feedback. We have something special here, and I look forward to our Series A in 2023,” Bodiwala said. “We are far from the copestone, but going to take it all the way. I'd say we just received a kickoff, took it out of the end zone and had a pretty good return to the 35-yard line. Still have some big plays to make before we can celebrate in the end zone.”

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