Months after announcing a $1.5 million seed round, PickUp has brought in another $3 million to build its social prediction platform.
The company allows publishers, some of whom have equity in the startup, to embed prop-like prediction challenges in their content. Guessers with a profile are then able to track and compare their accuracy, and earn prizes from affiliates, including sportsbooks.
Drive by DraftKings, Connetic Ventures and KB Partners reinvested in PickUp and were joined by new investors SuRo Capital and Lloyd Danzig’s Sharp Alpha, among others.
“What PickUp provides as a solution is a turnkey plugin that allows publishers to intelligently gamify their content,” Danzig said in an interview. “We’re amidst an inflection point of the digital transformation. Gamification is everywhere.”
Platforms including Reddit and Facebook have recently introduced prediction contests in a bid to increase engagement. The contests can also create valuable data for betting companies hungry to grab users.
One way PickUp plans to differentiate itself is by allowing anyone to create a question and share it across platforms. “If we’re actually going to fundamentally change the fan conversation, we have to live everywhere,” PickUp founder Dan Healy said in an interview. “I hope that in the future, free-to-play games are actually building on top of our database. That’s the goal.”
By opening up the platform, Healy believes new types of wagering could be developed. So far, for instance, the company has found that props tied to narratives have been more attractive than standard over/unders. In time, he said, the types of questions being proposed in group chats could inspire new categories of real money wagers.
“When we open it to the fans as distributors, the whole paradigm shifts,” Healy said. “All of a sudden, it’s not a media-driven narrative, it’s a fan-driven narrative. And how different is that?”