Bragster dumps bets and hones in on video bragging

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Startups across the globe are knuckling down and concentrating on what works right now, for a lot of very obvious reasons. Included in this is Bragster, the UK-based startup we described as Jackass meets Facebok when they won a $3.5 million Series A in February.

They are now stepping away from betting and focusing on “dares” as, says co-founder Wim Vernaeve says “they were 70% of our new events created.” Out go the old Gottabet features of their earlier incarnation like bets and polls. In come a new focus on “brags”. I guess they threw a lots of features out there before realising that bragging was what their users wanted to do most. That’s reflected in the new “edgier” logo. But it seems rather obvious to point out that the “Jackass” element was (at least I always thought this) their main USP. Plus, Pikum has now entered the market with a somewhat stronger emphasis on the betting angle.

The new Bragster is all about fame. As such it has a new section called BragTV with all the best footage and proper rewards for users in the form of BragTV coverage, Bragging Rights, medals, and levels. Users can also form teams around popular requests and do challenges. “Open Dares”are where multiple people can have a go at the same challenge. They have also created their own branded and hosted video player, which means distributed videos won’t be YouTube ones, but branded as Bragster. More marketing is planned, especially traditional.

Video content goes into the spotlight for the first time, where as videos used to be rather hidden. Bragster is clearly on it’s way to taking advantage of the gradual upswing in online video advertising revenues.

  • Kenneth Lee

    I feel the new design is a breathe of focus that is indeed more daring. The new design is definitely honed in helping users produce the content on the website. No doubt this design might upset some users already on the platform, however it might well be a positive leap of faith in communicating better to users what the point of the site is and that niche might respond better.

  • Chris Lake

    I’m not sure about this one. How is this new approach going to generate revenue? I don’t see any sponsored ‘brags’ out there, and it needs to seriously scale up usage / participation if it is to appeal to advertisers. Why not just do it via YouTube?

    Kudos to Bragster for noticing what users were doing and changing tack, but I’d be very worried if I’d pumped $3.5m into this idea.

  • Mike Butcher

    Chris – It depends if their cash will last them to break-even or not. Rule of thumb right now is a 2 year window. Team size is not huge.

  • Chris Lake

    Cool. I guess you can go a long way with a bootstrapped mentality, especially if you have managed to grab a few million bucks from the VCs. And I’m guessing that this time around the VCs won’t be forcing these startups to spend cash fast to scale up…

  • girlteam

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