smarkets

Smarkets launches its social assault on the betting world

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Smarkets, a startup which launched into private beta soon after presenting at our annual GeeknRolla event last year, has today launched publically.

Smarkets is a ‘social betting exchange’ which is launching initially with football/soccer bets covering UK football, the Champions League and the World Cup, but has plans to offer bets on the UK general election shortly. The idea is to bring a social and hightech mentality to the traditionally slow-paced industry of gambling. Better late than never I guess. It had planned to launch in late 2008.

The main competition Betfair is worth $3billion and there are other betting exchanges including intrade, tradesports, and betdaq. None are built around social elements.

At the same time it’s emerged that Stefan Glaenzer (the first investor and former exec chairman at Last.fm) invested in Smarkets as part of an angel round which also included an unnamed MD from Citigroup. The round was undislosed but it believed to be in the low six figures. From what we know, Smarkets has a declared $410,000 in backing.

The team includes Russ Garrett (one of Last.fm’s first employees), Bradley Wright (former front-end development lead for Yahoo! Answers), and Alex Lee (former UX lead at Yahoo!).

Smarkets is based in Clerkenwell at the increasingly hot startup space known at White Bear Yard which also houses Picklive/ Football3s.com, Timetric, RjDj.me, Rummble and Mendeley.

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