An Aberdonian firm is looking to take on the giants of daily fantasy sports gaming with a six-figure funding campaign to capitalise on claims that its app has attracted more UK users than those of its far larger rivals.
Following the shift from being web-based to the soft launch of its app in August, Premier Punt has seen an increase of more than 1,000 per cent in the number of paying users. Chief executive John Gordon says the firm has also regularly topped the likes of DraftKings and FanDuel so far this season on the app download charts.
US-based DraftKings and FanDuel – which employs about 140 people at offices in Edinburgh – both focus on the North American market. The two announced on Friday they were in merger talks, which would give the combined operation about 90 per cent of all daily fantasy sports activity in the United States.
The market in the UK is far smaller but it growing quickly, which has attracted the attention of the industry giants looking to replicate their success in North America.
“We believe that because we are a British company, we are more in touch with what the British user likes,” Gordon said. “Football is the primary sport in the UK and has been for decades, so it is taken very seriously here.
“There are, therefore, certain terms connected with the sport and playing fantasy sports in America which annoy us personally – and we know annoy many British users too – such as soccer, draft and salary caps.”
Premier Punt is now looking to raise up to £200,000 via a crowdfunding campaign on the Seedrs platform. The drive has already attracted significant support, with nearly £120,000 from equity backers in its first week.
Gordon said Premier Punt has had offers “well in excess” of its crowdfunding target, but wants to strike the right balance between fuelling growth and sticking to its ethos of serving UK football fans.
“Crowdfunding is a great way for us to do that, as it gives would-be investors clear guidelines about what they are buying into with Premier Punt,” he said.
“Raising this investment will help us to continue to build what we believe is a superior product and, by listening to and acting on the feedback of our users, we want to add the features that our customers want, attract new customers and ultimately create the market-leading product where users can compete for big money prizes in an exciting and fun way.”
As well as being more in tune with British football fans, Premier Punt also offers the “faster, more exciting” option of a single game format to combat the boredom that some users have with the traditional season-long or even week-long fantasy football game. Like the “bet in play” alternatives offered by online gambling, this complements the games which users are watching on television.
“Our new app not only offers this on public games, but allows users to set up their own private games and challenge their mates,” Gordon added.