New York-based start-up gaming company Simplebet has officially announced its launch into the US sports betting landscape aided by $35 million in funding and a star-studded, multifaceted ownership group.
Founded in 2018 by Chris Bevilacqua, Joey Levy, and Scott Marshall, Simplebet is a B2B product development company using machine learning and automation to enable every moment of every sporting event to become a betting opportunity.
In turn, Simplebet has created a new category of in-play betting it calls micro-markets, which are in-game betting markets that are created and resulted in just minutes or seconds, driving fan engagement and sports betting to a new level.
“We’re thrilled to share our innovative technology and products with the sports betting world,” Bevilacqua said in a statement. “In-play betting, and more specifically, micro-markets, which are bets tied to discrete moments in sporting events – are the way of the future. This new category of in-play betting following our heavy investment in the requisite automation and machine-learning technology sets Simplebet and our future partners up for success and growth.”
The company is set to launch its first slate of products in the coming weeks and is already aligned with the newly launched Chicago-based regional sports network Marquee Sports Network to provide at-bat-level statistics for Major League Baseball fans in Illinois.
To date, Simplebet has raised more than $35 million to date after closing a Series B funding round of $11 million in March.
Current investors include MLB’s San Francisco Giants, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment co-founder David Blitzer, Yahoo co-founder Jeff Mallett, former Turner president David Levy, former Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz, US tennis superstar Andre Agassi and former senior vice president of public affairs at the American Gaming Association Sara Slane, among many others.
Simplebet’s launch has got off to a rocky start, however. Earlier this year, 18 staff members were let go in a round of layoffs. In total, more than 30 data scientists have been made redundant.
To save on money amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Simplebet co-founder and chief executive Bevilacqua is not drawing a salary for the foreseeable future.
Simplebet told Legal Sports Report in a statement: “Over the past few weeks, we have worked tirelessly implementing top down budgeting decisions, designed to stretch our capital into 2021, when we can comfortably foresee the onset of professional sports once again. This exercise required very difficult decisions, not unlike many of our colleagues across media, gaming, professional sports and other live events and entertainment organizations.”