A company begun by Edinburgh graduates has raised £42 million ($68.5M), becoming the UK’s highest funded UK tech start-up firm.
Fantasy sports company FanDuel has attracted funding from venture capitalists and now employs 106 people in its offices in Edinburgh & New York.
The start-up company hosts online fantasy sports games for players who pay to act as manager of a sports team for a day or week. Real American Football or Baseball players score points for these virtual teams who battle it out for prize money pooled from all the participants.
FanDuel has grown to be the market leader in its field. The company’s revenue was estimated at $14.3 million in 2013 and it expects to pay out approximately $40 million in prizes this year.
Investors are increasingly viewing Fantasy Sports as a lucrative venture. An estimated 41 million North American consumers are playing fantasy sports this year, up from 33 million in 2013, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
Daily fantasy sports is a small but fast-growing segment of the overall fantasy sports market. FanDuel Chief Executive Nigel Eccles expects around 800,000 people to play daily fantasy sports this year. FanDuel had about 200,000 paid active players through the first half of 2014.
Co-founder of FanDuel, Tom Griffiths, graduated from Edinburgh with an MSc in Informatics in 2004. In 2009, he founded FanDuel with support from Launch.ed, the University of Edinburgh’s award-winning service for student entrepreneurs.
Launch.ed works with students to help them explore their ideas, source funding and find business partners. Launch.ed’s services are free, confidential, available to any Edinburgh student and to alumni for up to two years after graduation.
Entrepreneurship can be everything you want in a career – exhilarating, world changing and rewarding in many ways, but starting a company is hard. For those in need of some help, direction or a sounding board for their next multi-million dollar idea, I encourage you to make the most of the amazing folk at Launch.ed and the work they do.