According to Grand View Research, the global sports betting market is expected to grow to $182.12 billion in revenue by 2030, up from $76.75 billion last year.
So we are seeing a number of startups throng around this market. Thus, HotStreak, a web3 platform for daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests, is betting that a decentralizing payments is an ideal solution for DFS platforms.
Meanwhile, you have Polymarket, a global information markets platform for sports betting; BetDEX, a global decentralized sports betting exchange; Aver, a decentralized betting and prediction exchange; and Divvy, a decentralized betting protocol. Plus, Super Bowl ads boosted crypto app downloads by 279%, so there is a burgeoning market.
And, thus it is that New York-based Frontrunner, a decentralized sports prediction market, has now raised a $4.75M funding round by Susquehanna Private Equity Investments LLP. Joining the raise was Soma Capital, Gilgamesh Ventures, FBG Capital, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Toy Ventures, Gaingels, Ledger Prime, WAGMI Ventures, and NOA Capital.
So what makes Frontrunner different?
One of its schticks is that is makes its betting market look much more like a stock market-like experience. So, betting odds are presented more like stock prices. Users can buy shares of teams and players across markets like NFL, NBA and Premier League, using crypto, through a simplified trading interface. The company also plans to rollout ETF-style offerings, allowing uses to invest in teams, favorite ownership groups and league divisions. They will also be able to buy and sell using stablecoins.
Frontrunner is a zero gas fee, decentralized sports prediction market built on the blockchain, employing Injective, a protocol built on COSMOS, to support decentralized financial markets and order books, usinsing blockchains like Ethereum and Solana.
The company launched its testnet last quarter, and plans to add the FIFA World Cup 2022 market, and extend the offering in its existing leagues NFL, NBA and Premier League, by the end of this year.
Neil Zhang, Founder and CEO of Frontrunner said: “Rather than being a generalized prediction market product, we are launching Frontrunner focusing specifically on sports and esports markets… We believe that blockchain brings the sector closer to what users truly want when using a sports prediction market product.”
Speaking to me over a call, he added: “The majority of our competitors thus far are in the Solana ecosystem. But we have really had more of a multi chain type vision of the long term vision of our products. And so we’ve chosen first to be in the cosmos ecosystem, which we are really bullish on in terms of the interchain operability and some of the multi chain technologies that are being built there.”
“We are particularly excited about the possibilities of the Cosmos ecosystem that Frontrunner is built upon and believe it has a great future,” said Dean Carlson, Head of Digital Asset Investments at Susquehanna Private Equity Investments LLP, in a statement.
Eventually, next year, Frontrunner says it will give users social features, allowing them to create group funds in which they team up by pooling capital and investing collectively.
The Company is in the process of obtaining an off-shore gaming license in the Isle of Man during the first quarter of next year, which would allow it to legally operate in a variety of jurisdictions including Canada, Mexico, parts of Europe, and much of South America, Africa, and Asia.