Football Index became the second gambling-related start-up to seek funding through the Seedrs crowdfunding site when it recently launched an offer to raise £800,000, valuing the company at pre-money £4.5m.
As of mid-April, the Seedrs campaign had been hugely successful with 80% of its target raised and over a month of its fundraising period to run. Football index is following in the footsteps of DiscountIF which raised £150,000 back in December. The fund raise valued that company at £1.25m.
Adam Cole, founder and chief executive at Football index, said he had chosen to go down the route of crowdfunding via a Seedrs campaign as it had the broadest regulatory cover. “It has a lot of investors from Europe and it maintains that the States is coming online,” he told GamCrowd. “Also dealing only with Seedrs as opposed to individual investors as per Crowdcube model is very appealing.”
Cole said the money raised would be utilised primarily on marketing. Football index is a unique concept where users take a position with regard to a player as with a share price on a stock exchange. That player’s value is then determined by Football index’s own algorithms which takes account of profile and performance on the pitch. As the website proclaims, users are betting on the player not the fixture.
Cole said he sees the opportunity for Football Index in enticing a mass-market audience. “(Our aim is) to occupy a large vacant space between football betting (a lot of skin in a short sharp outcome) and fantasy football (no skin in a very long game) and to take a slice of the £17bn that will be bet on football this year - and also to provide an asset class for the guy in the street.”
The original idea for the site was a celebrity index but the company pivoted early and moved on to football as the main focus. Shareholder and non-executive director Keith McDonnell told GamCrowd late last year that the company had previously raised £500,000 from external investors.
The company is licensed by the Gambling Commission in the UK and in Jersey.