Internet celebrity Jake Paul and Joey Levy, a co-founder of sports-gambling tech platform Simplebet, are launching a new sportsbook to take wagers on the smallest moments within games—what Paul calls the the “TikTok-ification of sports betting.”
Miami-based Betr, formerly Instabet, recently closed a $50 million round featuring a number of prominent athletes, celebrities, sports owners and funds tied to franchises. They include NFL players Braxton Berrios, Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliot, DeSean Jackson, and Richard Sherman; rapper Travis Scott; and co-owners of the San Francisco 49ers (Mark Wan) and Miami Marlins (Roger Ehrenberg).
The group plans to build a simpler gambling operator around micro-betting—wagering on markets that arise and settle in a matter of moments, such as the result of the next baseball pitch, or the next football play. Those markets tend to keep bettors more engaged than simply wagering on the outcome of the game and can have a lower barrier to entry for first-time bettors.
“I wasn’t into sports betting until I was introduced to micro-betting,” Paul said in a statement, where he also set an ambitious goal for Betr. “We want to be the category defining consumer company in both sports betting and sports media by the end of the decade and are confident we will achieve that goal.”
Levy will serve as Betr’s CEO, and Paul will be president. The company’s valuation in the round wasn’t disclosed.
Betr’s roots trace back to Simplebet, which Levy co-founded in April 2018. Simplebet also focuses on micro-markets, but it is a business-to-business service, offering its tech to operators, leagues and media companies. Paul’s Anti Fund invested in Simplebet last year, and Simplebet is an equity holder in Betr. Betr will also run on Simplebet’s tech.
To start off, Betr will launch in all 50 states with a free-to-play platform. That will allow the company to gain customers and test the tech as it sorts out market access for sports betting—a process that can be simple or complex, depending on the state. (The company says it has already secured access to “multiple” states through “equity-based partnerships” that it will announce in the future but was not specific about where or with whom.)
In addition to the sportsbook, Betr is also launching a media company, which will lean heavily on Paul at the start. The 25-year-old has been a trailblazer in a new category of internet celebrity that is equal parts influencer and provocateur. Paul’s YouTube channel has more than 20.4 million followers (with another 20.3 million on Instagram), and he’s emerged recently as billable boxer.
Betr’s head of product is Alex Ursa, who was previously senior product director at FanDuel. The group’s head of media is Mike Denevi, who has worked on Bleacher Report’s betting vertical.