FANDUEL, the Scottish-founded sports entertainment business, has expanded into a new market with the purchase of a US company.
The group, which is thought to be worth well over $1 billion (£660 million) following dramatic growth, has bought New York-based AlphaDraft for an undisclosed sum.
AlphaDraft specialises in so-called eSports where users battle against each other in games such as League of Legends. An estimated 200 million people globally take part in eSports and FanDuel co-founder and chief executive Nigel Eccles said it was a significant acquisition.
“AlphaDraft gives those fans a way to engage with this burgeoning entertainment product that creates an enormous opportunity for us,” said Eccles.
“This is sports for a new demographic, with very little crossover with what are considered traditional sports fans, and this acquisition gives us the ability to leverage the expertise of AlphaDraft’s team, while helping their efforts in customer acquisition and building awareness of this new industry. It’s a win-win.”
FanDuel, which charges players to compete in fantasy leagues across the NFL, NBA, NHL and other US sports. said it will bring AlphaDraft’s employees in-house to help create a fantasy product specifically for eSports.
“This partnership marks the first time FanDuel will have a product for the eSports community,” said Eccles.
The acquisition is the latest announced by FanDuel in recent months following deals to buy US-based numberFire, a sports analytics platform, and Edinburgh mobile app developer Kotikan.
Todd Peterson, chief executive of AlphaDraft said the acquisition created an “incredible opportunity to drive the fantasy industry forward and create compelling products that will enhance all fan engagement”.
ESports generated $612m in revenue last year and by 2017, the number of eSports fans is projected to come close to that of American football.
Now headquartered in New York, FanDuel also has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow.