Theres a Scottish startup thats been making waves in the US fantasy sports space, and its eye is now firmly set on changing the fantasy football game in the UK.
On a journey that may seem alien to most, Edinburgh startup FanDuel began their venture in North America, and only recently brought their platform to their UK home. The company got its start back at 2009s South by SouthWest interactive festival in Texas, where its five co-founders came up with the idea of daily fantasy football during a backyard brainstorm. Making a departure from season-long online gaming tournaments, the team hit on the idea of creating shorter gameplay, with more opportunity for players to opt in on a daily basis. Its website pegs FanDuel as a new way to play fantasy fan vs. fan in a test of sports knowledge and fantasy knowhow where winners can taste victory on any given day. Not just once a year.
Fantasy sports brings a whole new dimension to the lives of sports fans whenever a fantasy team player is on the pitch IRL, theres an element of extra excitement and personal involvement for users. The company claims to have increased sports content consumption by 40% simply by making sports more exciting 60% of FanDuel users watch more live games as a result of being a FanDuel member.
From its inception until now, the company has won a variety of awards for excellence in mobile innovation, including 2016s The Webby Award: Judges Selection award for best sports app on a handheld device. Its accolades are underpinned by its impressive stats – valued at over a billion dollars after several funding rounds, FanDuel has over six million registered users and counting.
FanDuel users in the US and Canada can play in the National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL) and Englands Premier League. When the company expanded into the European market with its UK launch the team focused primarily on the English Premier League the Prem is a pretty big deal in the UK and its not so often youll meet a big baseball fan in the UK.
Whats in the future for FanDuel? Its heavily focused on expanding its user base the company invests heavily in advertising across its territories in order to retain its place as a market leader in the fantasy sports sector. We could see a global expansion of the platform in the future, but for now the team seems set on growing their presence back home in the UK.