Smarkets raises £100k seed round for 'simple' gambling startup

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Smarkets, a London-based pre-launch betting exchange focusing on making betting simpler, has raised $200k with a convertible note from five private investors. This will be used for product development, buying a gambling license from Malta (but of course) and conducting a private beta launch for summer of 2008 and a public launch Autumn of 2008. There’s an interesting twist – they plan to offer an open API for people to develop their own betting applications and use the Smarkets infrastructure. Their idea is this: users don’t need knowledge of odds or experience. It’s more about speed and entertainment than sports.

The main competition is big: Betfair is worth $3billion and there are other betting exchanges
including intrade, tradesports, and betdaq. Then there are more entertainment and fantasy games competitors like hubdub and pikum.

Smarkets’ founders are computer science graduates Americans Jason Trost (27) and Hunter Morris (26), who joinin other American emigres who have launched gambling sites in Europe, most recently Sean Glass of Pikum. Alas, America – known the world over for possibly the bigest gambling centre in the world, Las Vegas – has yet to get over its rather one-eyed view of gambling nationally.

  • Sean Glass

    congrats Jason! Look forward to doing lunch at Nando’s again in the near future. It’s clearly the epi-center for gaming startups in London :-).

  • Jed Christiansen

    Well done, Jason and Hunter.

    Perhaps the CFTC will come to its senses… you could be operating in the US soon after all!

  • Nigel Eccles

    Congrats Jason and Hunter.

    I’m looking forwards to the launch and the API sounds awesome. Twitter like betting? Plug me in!

  • George Tziralis

    Congrats Jason and Hunter on the funding! :)

  • Thomas Mann

    Great work Jason and Hunter! Sounds like everything is falling into place.

  • It’s no longer all about sport: Smarkets raises $200k « Smarkets Blog
  • Smarkets raises second round for launch of social betting service

    […] startup Smarkets has completed a second round fund raising of £145k ($210k), exceeding the first round fund raising total of £100k in May […]

  • Peter C

    You totally should have added that you coded smarkets in Erlang whilst pitching, you would have won.

  • Morten E. Wulff

    This is a great app (saw a brief demo 3-4 months ago) and I really think e.g. betfair will see some heavy competition here.

    Small and simple is the new big.

    Well done, Jason & co.

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