123gaming goes the crowdfunding route with Seedrs

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Racing pools operator 123gaming has become the latest gambling-related company to set upon a crowdfunding campaign via the Seedrs platform after announcing it would be seeking to raise £1m to help fund a UK launch.

The company has received backing from pools technology supplier Sportech which will seed the funding round with a £100,000 investment.

Rob Earle, chief executive at 123gamig and founder of the company pointed out to GamCrowd that the funding to date had been through friends and family. “We have been doing crowdfunding privately for several years taking the company to different levels,” he said. “Crowdfunding enables us to market to the public, something we have not been in a position to do until now.

He said that having Sportech on board as a cornerstone investor was a great boost. “Sportech has been a great technology partner over the years starting off with Scientific Games Racing which was acquired by Sportech a few years back,” he said. “It’s endorsement of our 123racing product and it’s distribution of it via the tote platform will allow us to expand into multiple jurisdictions in a very easy and cost effective manner.”

123gaming has been running the 123bet.com operation in the US for the past few years both for real-money and as a free-to-play game. It’s horseracing product is targeted as being complementary to existing UK Tote’s race-betting products including the Scoop 6 and Placepot. 

The jargon-free product is similar to a handicapping contest, pitting players against the market and with national leaderboards displayed on-screen at racetracks, off-track betting shops, betting terminals, online and on mobile. 123gaminfg also generates further revenues by licensing its free-to-play contests to racetracks for use as a marketing tool. 

Said Earle: “Our 123racing bet type is a fun, easy to play wager that would complement existing bet types such as the Scoop 6 and the Placepot. Scoring points on your picks is a simple and easy way to follow horses which has been done for years amongst friends in race boxes and we have the only pool (pari-mutuel) version that has been approved in the US by the International Horse Racing Commissioners.

The product is available on Sportech’s tote platform which operates in over 30 countries including the recent upgrade by Betfred for the UK Tote.

123gaming raised US$1.5 million through private investors in May 2015 to obtain licences in the US and soft-launch an online wagering site. The business has achieved a turnover of more than $10m since launch including $4.5m last year. A successful £1 million fundraising for 23% of the company would value 123gaming at £4.3 million. The company says that potential exits include an IPO or continued expansion as part of a larger group.

Andrew Gaughan, ‎president of Sportech Racing & Digital, ‎a division of Sportech, said: “Based on our experience distributing the 123racing wager in the USA, Sportech continues to be bullish on the appeal of the 123gaming platform in the US gaming marketplace and the opportunity for expansion in the UK.

123gaming has won several awards including the eGaming Review Start-up Operator of the Year and the magazine’s Skill Gaming Operator of the Year for its unique horse racing skill game, 123racing.

123gaming is the latest company from the gambling sector to seek funding via the Seedrs platform previous efforts have had mixed results in the past year or more. While the gambling-related discount operation DiscountIF and Football Index have had success with their funding rounds, the social gaming company WantMyBet failed to secure the finding it was seeking.