Sporttrade, Sports Betting Exchange Startup, Lands $36 Million in Investments

By | June 23, 2021

One month after launching its website, Sporttrade, a sports betting financial technology company, announced Tuesday it raised $36 million from a group of investors, including former MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren and Nasdaq CEO Tom Wittman.

Sporttrade $36 million
Sporttrade Founder and CEO Alex Kane testifies before the Ohio Select Committee on Gaming during a May 19 hearing in the Columbus statehouse. On Tuesday, the sports betting exchange startup announced it received $36 million in investor funding and plans to launch in New Jersey later this year. (Image: The Ohio Channel)

In addition, the Philadelphia-based firm announced it would launch its sports betting exchange platform in New Jersey later this year, pending approvals from state regulators.

Sporttrade describes its sports betting application as “the only sports betting exchange” in the US. Based on the description given on its website, Sporttrade works like PredictIt does for political betting. Bettors can place a bet at any time during a game and can trade during the game, with outcomes ranging from 0 to 100. The higher the number, the shorter the odds. For example, if you buy a team at $75 and they win, you net a $25 profit.

One key difference is that PredictIt markets are longer-term based on political or government cycles, whereas most of Sporttrade’s markets will consist of games or matches that start and conclude within a matter of hours.

Since sports bettors will trade shares amongst each other, Sporttrade said it will not include juice in its odds. Instead, it will charge what it calls a small commission for using the exchange.

The company has established a partnership with Bally’s Corp as its gaming partner. Besides New Jersey, Sporttrade expects to venture into other states starting next year.

Bringing “Capital Market Principles” to Sports Betting

Founder and CEO Alex Kane said Tuesday’s announcement was a significant milestone toward achieving its mission.

“Our mission is to elevate the sports betting industry by applying capital markets principles and technology and to place the customer at the forefront,” Kane said.

Yelena Shkolnik, a partner at Jump Capital, said that Sporttrade has developed “a transparent open market” for sports bettors.

Jump Capital, along with Delavan Lake Investments, Impression Ventures, Hudson River Trading, and Tower Research Ventures also invested in Sporttrade.

They have built a retail trading solution for betting, reflecting pricing based on win probabilities and allowing users to easily trade in and out of any position,” Shkolnik said.

The company said it will use the investment funds to “strengthen its position” as the only US-based sports betting exchange. It already employs a workforce of more than 50 financial, trading, and sports betting professionals.

Big Week for Murren Already

Sporttrade’s news was the second significant gaming announcement involving Murren this week.

Also on Tuesday, Playstudios, Inc. became a standalone publicly traded company as the social casino developer completed its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, Acies Acquisition Corp., established by Murren. The deal was first announced in February.

Murren announced in February 2020 that he would leave from MGM Resorts before his contract ended. COVID-19 hastened his departure as he was called on by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak to lead the state’s pandemic task force.

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