(Bloomberg) -- Jake Paul, the social-media star turned professional boxer, is raising funds for a new sports-gambling and media venture focused on micro-betting as the industry opens up in more states across the US.
The $50 million funding round for his company, Betr, was led by Florida Funders, Aliya Capital Partners and Fuel Venture Capital, with the final closing scheduled for this quarter. Additional investors include Simplebet, Magic City Casino and Stronach Group, along with celebrities like rapper Travis Scott and former NFL players Richard Sherman and Dez Bryant.
Paul said sports-betting companies have relied upon young celebrities to push their products for years in an effort to attract more Gen Z gamblers, so the 25-year-old decided to try his own luck.
“They were paying me millions to promote their sportsbooks for my fights,” Paul, who has 70 million followers across social media, said in an interview. “They need the influencers. Now it’s our turn to take over from the dinosaurs.”
Betr has two divisions: media and betting. Paul, who has taken the role of president, runs the media arm, which seeks to serve a young sports audience through new social shows and promotions. He’ll host his own weekly show, create an influencer roster and lead marketing. Betr Chief Executive Officer Joey Levy, who previously cofounded Simplebet, will operate the gambling side of the business.
Micro-betting is a growing slice of the gambling market, allowing users to place bets on individual moments throughout games in real-time.
Betr will spend the new capital on staff and development. Levy has been working on getting access to various betting markets and plans to announce initial partners in the coming weeks.
“We view this as a $50 million war chest,” said Levy, “to get the company to profitability without having to raise more.”
Paul has been a prominent figure in the boxing business in recent years, promoting big-money fights and signing top boxers including Amanda Serrano along with prospects like high-school star Ashton Sylve. Paul has also been investing through his venture firm, Anti Fund, putting money into companies such as cryptocurrency-payments firm Moonpay, blockchain startup Alchemy and mental-health platform Osmind.
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