Smarkets, the London-based social gambling startup, is on something of a roll. Today it has closed a $1 million funding round led by Passion Capital, Stefan Glaenzer, Alex Zubillaga, Tom Hulme and others. The aim now is to build out the platform and hire a tonne more people.
CEO Jason Trost is out to effectively attack bookmakers and other exchanges which he says give consumers a rough deal because of poor odds and commissions. “We’re going to use the money to hire the best engineers in London. There’s billions of pounds flowing through bookmakers, but they offer consumers very bad value. We’re going to use our in-house technology to challenge the bookmaking business model,” he told TechCrunch.
Last year Smarkets announced it had traded over £1 million on its ‘betting exchange’ since it publicly launched in February last year. That has gone up substantially. Trost says the platform is now now seeing £1 million being traded on its system each week and that trading volume is growing 30% month-on-month.
In April it hit £10 million of lifetime bets and is on track to pass £20 million in June.
Smarkets, which competes with the likes of Betfair and to some degree intrade and betdaq, lets users set their own odds and bet against each other before and during events. It was founded in 2008 by Trost and Hunter Morris (CTO).