Gaming Society, a gamification and content company committed to making sports betting easy, has announced the closing of its $3.5 million seed funding round. The financing was co-led by Acies Investments, a venture fund dedicated to the sports wagering and esports industries, and TLI Bedrock, a multi-strategy investment fund active in media, technology, sports and entertainment.
Founded by sports executive and entrepreneur Jaymee Messler, co-founder of The Players’ Tribune, and NBA hall of famer Kevin Garnett, Gaming Society is expanding its approach to sports betting. The duo created Gaming Society to be the vehicle for introducing the majority of sports fans to now-legal sports betting. The company offers betting education, and through various verticals allows fans to support their favorite teams, leagues, players, shows and events with the incentives of rewards, prizes and bragging rights.
“Betting is the ultimate form of gamification in sports, but the industry is still largely intimidating and difficult to understand for the majority of fans,” said Messler in an interview with Sportico.
Namely women’s sports fans. “They share so many of the same behavioral traits as sports bettors because they’re tech savvy,” Messler said. “Sports betting is a proven driver for more engagement and viewership in sports, we just think that the category presents an exciting opportunity to increase visibility for who these athletes are.”
Gaming Society is building verticals that combine editorial, original programming and gamification products. One of these verticals, the Dollar Bet Club, encourages fans to rally behind one bet together every day through storytelling, betting analysis and prizes. Their second vertical, Bet on Women, stems from a partnership with the WNBA Player Association (WNBPA) and aims to propel women’s sports forward through the growth of the betting industry. Another vertical, The Betting Academy, is an interactive masterclass giving fans the tools needed to learn how to bet safely and intelligently.
“There is a huge swath of the population who are ardent sports fans, yet uninitiated or undereducated on the opportunities around the gamification of sports including sports betting,” said Dan Fetters of Acies Investments, in an interview.
Acies invested in a handful of niche betting companies in the past, including Jefebet, Underdog Fantasy and Simplebet. “We are not focused on backing a company that has aspirations of replacing DraftKings or FanDuel or Caesars interactive or a bet MGM,” said Fetters, who is also a Gaming Society board member. “It’s a crowded space in the B to C.”
Financing from this round will accelerate Gaming Society’s investment in gamification products and media content. Other noteworthy investors in Gaming Society include John Patrick Mullen and Will Corkin of Soma Finance.