MyDFS, a blockchain-based daily fantasy sports platform, has raised US$1 million from LD Capital and added former Facebook and Skype executive Akin Babayigit into its advisory board, the startup announced on Thursday. Babayigit will help MyDFS with the upcoming global launch of its app.
MyDFS said the new funding will be used to improve the existing blockchain platform and expand MyDFS services abroad. It comes just a month after the startup raised US$2 million from investor Frank Fu, managing director at Chinese tech company Meitu, the Chinese photo-sharing platform with more than 450 million users. Fu joined MyDFS as a board advisor.
MyDFS is preparing for the soft launch of its blockchain-based mobile app with a rollout in Australia and India scheduled for later this week. The startup said it will be collecting data and identifying bugs in order to optimize the platform prior to the global launch set to take place in early June 2018, right before the FIFA World Cup, the largest soccer championship of the year. MyDFS said it will be looking for feedbacks from players.
Headquartered in the Isle of Man, MyDFS intends to use blockchain technology to simplify the daily fantasy sports experience. The company’s upcoming mobile app promises to provide fantasy sports players with all of the traditional DFS features, with the added security and transparency that blockchain offers. Players will be able to use MyDFS tokens as in-game currency to enter the games, draft their own lineups, and play against other users on the platform. The platform will also include player brokerage features, which will allow newbies to hire pro-players to win fantasy leagues on their behalf.
Viktor Mangazeev, CEO of MyDFS, said the platform is a combined solution that makes fantasy sports games casual and easy-to-play.
“Our team has been building fantasy sports apps since 2015. We decided to merge our existing platform with blockchain to solve major industry problems and bring transparency to fantasy sports,” he said.
LD Capital, which claims to boast one of the longest-running and largest crypto investment organizations in China, has made investments into startups and projects such as Qtum, Vechain, and EOS. MyDFS is the latest project the firm is investing in.
Yi Lihua, founding partner at LD Capital, said that while the fantasy sports market was well-developed in the West, Asia remains a rather untapped market, giving an opportunity for MyDFS to become a regional leader.
“The Western world is obsessed with fantasy sports. The fantasy sports audience in the US and Canada has already exceeded 65 million people, but there are only a few people familiar with the industry in the Asia market,” he said. “MyDFS will be the first company bringing fantasy leagues to the Asian.”
Fantasy sports is a US$7.22 billion industry that continues to grow, according to a research by Ipsos Marketing for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA). The research estimates that there are currently about 59.3 million fantasy sports players in the US and Canada.