In the five days since its Crowdcube pitch opened, Bets of Mates has raised £28,240 of its targeted £200,000 for 22% of its equity offered. Sixteen investors contributed to help Bets of Mates reach 14% of its crowdfunding goal, betting on the company’s ability to break further into the $7 Billion social betting market.
Launched in late 2012 by professional footballer David McGurk, the West Yorkshire company aims to create a Social Betwork, noting that “who[m] you’re betting with matters just as much as what you’re betting on.” Bets of Mates creates real-time in-play betting games for friends to play against each other, merging the two exciting areas of in-play betting and social media. Each player pays into the pool, places his or her bets and then “watches the action unfold.” The company counts more that 1,000 people as its current user base and believes that the competitive dynamic of social betting can help the Betwork attract greater numbers with better branding.
As one may expect, Bets of Mates’ typical customer is male, aged 18-45 with a keen interest in sports. Most avid users have linked to Bets of Mates through football social media; in fact, social media has been responsible for 45% of all Bets of Mates’ acquisitions. The Betwork’s need for improved and cutting edge technology remains the thrust for its crowdfunding round. By strengthening its mobile strategy and sharing capabilities, Bets of Mates hopes to see an increase in its recruitment and re-engagement of future users. Additional funds will be used for marketing, branding, and employing a growing staff. As the betting company grows, its sports’ focus will also widen. Golf, cricket and horse racing are cited on the campaign video as its next frontiers for growth. Bets of Mates may be keeping tabs on ThoroBid’s concurrent Early Shares campaign for its horse betting venture.
Currently, in addition to online bookies, Bets of Mates’ key competitors include Bragbet, Betzoola and Fantasy Football companies such as Totel Football and Picklive.
Founder and former professional footballer David McGurk is the handsome “face” of the brand. McGurk made nearly 400 League Appearances for York and Darlington: “I left school at 16, to play professional football for Darlington FC. I made my debut for the Quakers in 2001 at the tender age of 19, and established a reputation as a goal scoring centre back. In 2004, I signed a loan deal with York City and have been there ever since. Outside of football, in 2010, I set up PlayersTaxBack Limited as an accountancy management company for other professional footballers. I built up the foundations and exited in 2012, retaining a 10% stake. Sadly due to injury, I’ll be retiring as a professional footballer this summer, but rest assured I’ll be replacing all the physical hard work of pre-season with the mental endurance of office life.”
Although an equity campaign, Bets of Mates is also offering some rewards-based incentives:
Invest £10 and get A free go on our £1 Jackpot game
Invest £100 and get A free £10 bet credit to use on the site
Invest £1,000 and get A free £10 bet credit and a free t-shirt
Invest £10,000 and get A free £10 bet credit, free t-shirt and an overview of current operation over dinner
Invest £50,000 and get Ability to nominate a seat on the board, including self-nomination. We will also take you out for a meal to discuss our strategy further, and give you all rewards mentioned elsewhere.
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