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So how many people have heard of Fan Duel? I myself didn’t know of them until only a few weeks ago but what I did find out was that Fan Duel a small start up from Scotland that has its HQ in Edinburgh is now worth a $1 Billion Dollars after closing another $275 Million round of funding this time from KKR, Google Capital and Time Warner/Turner Sports.
So who are Fan Duel and what do they do?
Fan Duel are a daily fantasy sports operator – That has its HQ in Edinburgh, Scotland and operates also in the USA with 150 Staff based their and 90 staff in the UK. They are also about to open there second Scottish Office this time in Glasgow and add even more staff to this company that doesn’t even operate in the UK… That’s right Fan Duel’s customer base is only in North America however the company that was started in 2009 as a spin out from the University of Edinburgh is still based in Scotland and worth $1 Billion Dollars.
It just shows you that you don’t need to have your HQ in the country you operate in to become hugely successful – That is why I love the internet and what it can do for you and your company. Fan Duel was Co Founded by Husband & Wife Nigel Eccles and Lesley Eccles and Co Founder Tom Griffiths. The three had tech backgrounds having worked on HubDub first then Fan Duel prior to that Tom Griffiths had worked at two companies he also co-founded: Insight Studios (a web design agency), and Groopit (a mobile social meet-up tool). Nigel worked at Flutter.com.
Since 2009 Fan Duel has raised a total capital of $363 million and has paid out Over $10 Million in real cash prizes every week to users of Fan Duel. However Fan Duel was not the original business that they planned to start HubDub was effectively a news prediction game designed to increased page impressions on partner newspaper sites, allowing newspapers to generate more traffic out of news, but the Fan Duel proved to be the more popular and I would assume profitable brand and HubDub closed its main business to focus on Fan Duel.
So Fan Duel now has Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Cash and want to grow their brand and customer base or should I say Fan base, what do you think they should do? I know if it was me I would be approaching Domain Investor Scott Day and his company Digi Media to work with him to acquire or partner on FantasyFootball.com, FantasyBaseball.com, FantasyBasketball.com these are killer domain names that currently aren’t being used to their full potential it would be great to see a nice big pay for Scott Day on these premium domains who knows maybe he could do a stock deal for them as rumour has it Fan Duel will IPO in the next 24 months.
Things look to be on the up with Fan Duel as they are also finalising exclusive, multi-year partnerships with 13 NBA teams and 16 NFL teams.
I love reading about successful start-ups but what is even better is that this small start up from my homeland in Scotland is now a Billion Dollar company and still based in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.
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