Tampa-based venture capital firm and angel network Florida Funders has led the $50 million investment round for Betr, a sports-betting business created by social media influencer and boxer Jake Paul and tech entrepreneur Joey Levy.
Florida Funders led the $30 million Series A round with a $5 million investment — the most significant check from Florida Funders to date. The Series A was followed by an additional $20 million Series A1 round, racking up the total investment to $50 million.
Betr founders Paul and Levy, who founded business-to-business sporting betting tech company Simplebet, have billed Betr as the world’s first micro-better-focused app, allowing users to bet on real-time events such as pitches and plays during a game rather than the sole outcome.
“Initially, we were excited about the idea of micro-betting. Joey as an operator is very smart and he has everything you’d want in a CEO, so that gravitated us toward it. Then we saw that Jake [Paul] was getting involved, and we knew this would be a major differentiator in the market,” said Saxon Baum, who leads investor relations at Florida Funders. The firm previously invested in Simplebet.
“They could go after that Generation Z better – not your typical better – it’s a new market and with Jake, it’s a great opportunity from the marketing side,” Baum said.
The investment was secured after six months of negotiations and communicating about the future of Betr.
Miami-based Aliya Capital Partners and Fuel Venture Capital also participated in the $50 million round.
Betr’s additional slew of investors includes co-owners of the San Francisco 49ers, Boston Celtics and Miami Marlins, along with rapper Travis Scott and pro football players Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant and Richard Sherman.
The round is expected to close this quarter.
“We’re proud to have Florida Funders’ support and guidance as Betr continues to grow. As a Miami-based company, the local ties are especially meaningful and we’re excited to work toward being the preeminent consumer-facing startup that comes out of the state of Florida,” Levy said in Florida Funders’ news release.
Paul, who rose to fame through his viral videos and amassed a cult following of 70 million followers across social media, is spearheading the marketing while Levy is controlling the gambling tech side of the business.
Betr will be utilizing tech from Levy’s company Simplebet, which pioneered micro-betting on U.S. sports by building the machine learning and automation infrastructure to enable this new form of betting to exist at scale.
With Simplebet’s tech, the Betr app is expected to go live in the coming weeks.
The app will initially be a free-to-play experience available in all 50 states, with a state-by-state rollout of its licensed real money betting experiences to follow later this year, according to a news release.
Baum said the duo plan to also launch a sports media company, with Paul hosting podcasts and celebrities promoting the app.
“It’s a parallel strategy having the content feed into the betting app and that will feed back into the content. We are looking at this as an all-inclusive strategy for everything sports,” Baum said. “Our goal is to make this a platform for the Generation Z and Generation Y crowd that everyone can rally around.”