Fantasy Sports

Tap into the fantasy sports industry—where the thrill of sports blends with the power of technology.

A playground for sports enthusiasts

The fantasy sports industry is gaining popularity. Key factors fueling its market growth include tech advancements, increasing interest among young consumers, AI integration, and the surge in DFS. Plus, it’s investors’ darling due to resilience during economic fluctuations and a capacity to retain loyal customers.

Why it matters:

Owing to this, the fantasy sports industry is ripe with various opportunities for startups to capitalize on:

  • Mobile and app development
  • Diverse game offerings
  • Marketing initiatives
  • Data analytics services

Between the lines:

Be aware of potential risks like regulatory issues, data breaches, customer retention hurdles, and funding race.

We’ve worked with numerous fantasy sports startups, so our team knows what it takes to build a successful and investor-attractive business in this landscape

$2B+
Secured in funding
600+
Startups boosted
80+
Industries spanned

What we do:

We excel at securing vital funding, managing M&A deals, and creating outstanding market entry strategies and compelling pitch decks.

Go deeper:

Check out our fantasy sports market research to discover industry trends, potential startup risks, and crucial tips on getting funding.

3.5x growth
The fantasy sports market is projected to more than triple by 2032, hitting $84.7 billion.

 

433M
The number of active users within the fantasy sports industry.

Propelled by tech advancements and a growing
young, tech-savvy user base
40%

Over 40% of users choose premium online games.

8/10

Over 79% of users play fantasy football.

67%

Of DFS players are under the age of 35.

VENTURE LANDSCAPE

In 2022, fantasy sports startups secured over $550 million in funds

Mostly funded sectors:

  • Mobile platform development
  • Advanced analytics tools
  • AI integration
  • Esports fantasy leagues

Leading fantasy sports investors

Write to us to know more

Challenges of fantasy sports startups

Knowing the obstacles is already halfway to success.

Legal compliance:

Some domestic sports betting sites present themselves as fantasy sports platforms. They operate without proper licenses and don’t adhere to fair play standards and data security protocols.

Why it matters

Such unregulated platforms pose a threat to users and undermine the integrity of the legitimate fantasy sports industry. As a result, startups may face regulatory challenges and customer and investor skepticism while trying to launch a new fantasy sports project.

What it takes:

It’s pivotal to comply with all the industry rules and standards. To do this, fantasy sports startups should:

  • Invest in legal counsel familiar with the industry and its regulations
  • Stay tuned about the changing laws and adapt business models accordingly
  • Be transparent with users about legal issues

Building a user base:

The fierce competition in the fantasy sports market poses a challenge for newcomers to not only acquire but also retain users.

Why it matters

The absence of a solid user base leads to:

  • Low revenue
  • Unsustainable marketing and operational costs
  • Inability to attract further investment

What it takes:

To stand out and win the audience, fantasy sports startups should:

  • Focus on niche sports or unique game formats
  • Offer impeccable user experience, innovative features, and personalized content
  • Implement referral programs
  • Forge strategic partnerships

Ensuring security

A case in point: In 2022, DraftKings, a fantasy sports platform, was hacked during the World Cup, affecting 68,000 users and costing $300,000 in lost money.

Why it matters:

Developing a robust, scalable, and secure platform is a must for a fantasy sports startup. Failure to do this may lead to:

  • User dissatisfaction
  • Loss of customer trust
  • Legal issues and reputation damage

What it takes:

To maintain user safety and uphold their reputation, fantasy sports startups should:

  • Invest in high-quality IT infrastructure
  • Adopt best data security practices
  • Conduct regular audits
  • Ensure tech updates
  • Provide reliable customer support

Attracting funds:

Fantasy sports investors focus on startups with a clear competitive edge, proven scalability, and a robust user base.

Why it matters:

Securing the necessary fantasy sports funding is pivotal for industry newcomers. And if they don’t manage to attract the appropriate investors, it may result in:

  • Limited business growth
  • Reduced competitive edge
  • Operational issues, like lower marketing spending

What it takes:

To gain investors’ attention, startups need to:

  • Offer a unique value proposition
  • Develop a strong business plan and market entry strategy
  • Leverage user data to demonstrate market potential and user engagement
  • Network and pitch to investors via insightful and persuasive presentations
  • Form strategic partnerships

FAQs

How attractive is the industry to potential fantasy sports investors?

The fantasy sports industry is very appealing to potential VCs. First of all, the market offers significant growth potential. Second, it promises high profitability, with revenue typically generated from entry fees, ads, and sponsorships. Plus, the industry is characterized by low capital intensity.

If you are a fantasy sports startup, how easy is it to raise funding today?

It’s relatively easy for fantasy sports startups to secure funding today. Users, especially young individuals, have become more aware of fantasy sports. Plus, the market growth and success of leading fantasy sports companies like FunDuel and DraftKings.

How long does it take to create a pitch deck and financial model for a fantasy sports startup?

It usually takes two or three weeks to create a robust fantasy sports financial model and comprehensive pitch deck. However, there are cases when we need around a month to finish everything. So, it’s better to negotiate the time frames individually.

What are the key mistakes fantasy sports startups make in their pitch decks?

Many fantasy sports pitch decks fail to provide a cohesive investment narrative. Plus, they miss the information about why they chose exactly this market. Some presentations lack a competition slide. It prompts the VCs that the startup doesn’t know the playground well enough to get a competitive advantage and become profitable.

How competitive is the fantasy sports market?

The fantasy sports market is fiercely competitive, with constantly emerging startups and established players all fighting for a piece of the market.

What services do you provide for investors looking to invest or already investing in fantasy sports?

We help investment funds dig deep into prospective fantasy sports projects through comprehensive due diligence, ensuring they’re not backing the wrong horse. Additionally, we roll out full-fledged fundraising support for our partner fund’s associated companies.

Do you provide fantasy sports M&A support?

Yes, we do! Our team assists with fantasy sports M&A by scouting for promising opportunities, evaluating them for potential success, and facilitating smooth partnerships that continue well after the deal is closed.

Do you make intros to fantasy sports VCs?

If factors like round size, team, and product match up, we’ll surely link you with notable VCs in the fantasy sports sector. Still, remember this is just one facet of our extensive relations package. We compile a directory of investors with a strong interest in fantasy sports, prepare founders for intro meetings, and ensure seamless cooperation post-deal.

Do you have available data or fantasy sports market research to purchase?

Certainly! Our experts deliver tailored insights based on industry overviews, competitor evaluations, and in-depth market surveys to guide you to success in the fantasy sports sector. By tapping into our trusted, exclusive databases, we ensure you gain a comprehensive perspective on the scale, variety, and competitive dynamics of the fantasy sports environment.

Which growth stage of companies have you worked with in the past?

Our core proficiency lies in helping startups from the Seed to Series B growth stages within the fantasy sports industry and beyond. However, we also support businesses in Pre-Seed and Series C+ growth stages and forge ties with established companies and investment funds.

Start your growth journey with us

Stepping into the fantasy sports landscape? We know the way. From end-to-end fundraising support to outsourced M&A guidance and growth blueprinting, Waveup will help you accelerate your journey to success. Drop us your email, and let's talk!

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