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NEWS 14 March 2017

Industry financiers tap into eSports betting market with Blinkpool investment

By Nicole Abbott
Blinkpool has recently secured $700,000 in funding from venture capital investors Velo Partners and 12 other industry players who are keen to tap into the $7.4b underground eSports industry.

Blinkpool’s technology generates hyper-contextual betting markets for in game events. The firm believes that the two major obstacles to in-game betting on eSports are data and pricing. Blinkpool’s use of artificial intelligence eliminates the need for human involvement on the data-collection side; while their gambling mechanism solves the pricing component by allowing users to essentially play against each other. While the software is being developed, it is currently being tested as a free site called Blinkpredict.

Following the acquisition of this funding, Blinkpool expects to receive a license from the UK Gambling Commission and go live later this year.

The firm secured funding after its success in the Entrepreneur First programme, which enlists some of the UK’s top computer scientists and tech experts to mentor young entrepreneurs and offer them the opportunity to pitch to a number of Europe’s biggest venture capital investors.

A spokesperson for Velo said: “It’s not every day you see a billion dollar market grow under everyone’s nose without them noticing.”

“We focus on the gambling and gaming sector, and we see Blinkpool operating on the intersection. Often the gambling space observes iterative innovation – bar a few notable exceptions – but we don’t think a step change is off the cards with eSports. When you’ve got two technical founders who really understand their space, it’s hard to ignore the opportunity.”

Suraj, Co-founder of Blinkpool, spoke exclusively to Gambling Insider on how the funding is expected to propel the firm’s immediate goals: “The funding is going to two things, product and getting our gambling licence. The eSports audience created a huge multi-billion-dollar wagering black market, which was driven completely by demand. We want to bring transparency and legitimacy to eSports wagering with a product that is significantly more in line with what the audience want. We don't think a traditional sportsbook offering will satiate the market; the eSports audience have high expectations and are very discerning when it comes to the products they chose.

“Secondly, building a business in this highly regulated industry is challenging and not to be taken lightly. The funding is going towards getting a gambling licence from the UK Gambling Commission and meeting all the necessary regulatory requirements along with it.”
RELATED TAGS: Online | Financial | eSports
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