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Former FanDuel Execs Raise $21m for Blockchain-powered Betting Platform

Ross Kelly

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BetDEX
The BetDex investment marks the largest-ever seed round by a UK startup.

Three former FanDuel execs have raised $21 million in funding to launch a new venture aimed at transforming the consumer sports betting industry.

BetDEX, founded by Nigel Eccles, Varun Sudhakar and Stuart Tonner, combines blockchain technology with sports betting, and hopes to position itself as the world’s first decentralised betting platform.

The funding round, led by San Francisco-based crypto investment firm Paradigm and FTX, marks the largest-ever seed investment secured by a UK startup.

Set to launch in early 2022, the funding will enable BetDEX to scale the business from a base in Scotland and hire for positions across a range of functions.

Commenting on the investment, Eccles said: “It’s exciting to be founding the business with Varun and Stuart, and to be building it in Scotland. We are energised to have the backing and wealth of expertise that comes with having Paradigm and FTX as cornerstone investors.”

Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO and Founder of FTX, added: “We are thrilled to be backing a team with deep industry expertise to transform the sports betting experience.”

Eccles co-founded FanDuel in 2009, and the company went on to become Scotland’s first $1 billion dollar-valued startup before being acquired by Flutter in 2018. FanDuel is now estimated to be worth around $30 billion

Sudhakar, who began his career in investment banking in Silicon Valley, worked alongside Eccles in senior strategy and corporate development roles at FanDuel between 2015 and 2018, while Tonner was the first engineer hired by the firm.


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In 2020, the global sports betting market was valued at $203bn and is forecast to grow to $350bn by 2024.

Despite the size, popularity and potential of the sports betting market, the industry has been largely dominated by incumbent exchanges charging high fees.

With BetDEX, the founding trio aims to take the opposite approach, offering a protocol built on public blockchain, Solana, to provide consumers with fast and low-cost trades.

The open source protocol will be fully decentralised, allowing third-parties to build their own applications and innovate on top of the platform.

Varun Sudhakar, Co-Founder and CEO of BetDEX, said: “The sports betting industry charges high prices for poor products and limits trades by its most successful users.

“BetDEX is diametrically opposed to this approach, we will successfully compete against incumbents with a markedly superior product and low fees, which is now possible with the advent of the blockchain technology. Winners will always be welcome on our protocol.”


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Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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