“Facebook for sports” start-up to go global after raising $2.5 million
Thursday, September 27, 2012/
A Melbourne-based start-up that describes itself as “Facebook for sports” says it intends to go global with its gamified social network, having raised more than $2.5 million to date.
Favourit, founded by Melbourne brothers Toby and Josh Simmons, is a sports entertainment platform, offering a “brand new content experience” for participating in live events worldwide.
Likened to Facebook for sports fanatics, Favourit is heavily focused on the social experience. It gives users access to live statistics, scores and media content including commentary and insight.
It also lets users prove their expertise and compete to be the “leader” of particular sports, earning IQ and virtual credits from their ability to predict winners.
In addition, Favourit offers users who want to improve their game the ability to copy experts to improve their predictions and success.
Favourit believes it has “redesigned the sports betting experience” to meet the demands of today’s savvy web users, making the experience simpler but more media-driven.
Employing eight staff, it has raised more than $2.5 million to date to build and launch its platform to a global audience made up of sports fanatics, social gamers and punters.
Having recently launched in beta, Favourit will initially focus on Australia, Asia and Europe. Impressively, the platform has already attracted more than 230,000 Facebook fans.
The Simmons brothers are joined as founding investors by Martin Dalgleish and Richard Kuo, both of whom are directors of Favourit Global. Dalgleish is also the chairman.
Dalgleish is the former chief executive of new media for PBL, while Kuo is the principal of Pier Capital, one of the leading media and tech investment advisory firms in Australia.
“We’ve developed Favourit to be a brilliant experience on web, mobile and tablet for all sports,” Toby Simmons says.
“Whether you’re the user who wants to check scores or social chat, loves fantasy leagues or wants to put real money bets on the event, Favourit gives you a must-have experience.”
According to Simmons, Favourit is beginning to work with sporting codes and brand partners who “understand the value of Favourit as a media and technology partner”.
“[Favourit can] provide more user engagement for their audiences and generate new revenue streams,” Simmons says.
“The bookmakers are equally engaged in the technology as a brand new offering for customers who’ve grown tired to the very transactional interfaces.”
Having identified an emerging niche in “social sports betting”, Favourit allows bookmakers to integrate their betting product into the platform and sell via a unique social experience.
According to the company, bookmakers “across the globe” – including Australia, the United Kingdom and greater Europe – have shown an interest in the platform.