Investors Are Betting on DraftKings; Fantasy Sports Startup Raises $1.4 …

BOSTON, Jul 19, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) —
DraftKings, an online fantasy sports startup, today announced that it
has closed a seed round of $1.4 million in a round led by Atlas Venture,
with participation from Boston Seed Capital, Hub Angels, Angel Street
Capital, and private angel investors. Featuring daily fantasy sports
play and same-day settlement, DraftKings
makes playing fantasy sports simpler and faster for both seasoned and
casual players. Currently offering daily fantasy sports play options in
major league fantasy baseball, DraftKings will use the capital raised to
fund marketing and product development in anticipation of the 2012
fantasy football, fantasy basketball, and fantasy hockey seasons.

Fantasy sports games are considered games of skill in forty-four states,
making playing with financial stakes perfectly legal. Thirty-two million
people play fantasy sports in the US and Canada, and two-thirds of all
fantasy sports leagues involve fees and payouts that are typically
managed offline by a designated member of the league. DraftKings
simplifies the process by handling financial transactions through its
site while collecting a commission on every stakes game.

“While fantasy sports have been around for 50 years, online daily
fantasy sports is much younger and growing rapidly. The sector is ripe
for innovation via an analytical approach to marketing and customer
relationship management,” said Jason Robins, DraftKings CEO and

“There’s an opportunity for a daily fantasy sports platform to dominate
the current field,” said Ryan Moore, partner at Atlas Venture. “With a
deep understanding of successful gaming franchises, and expertise in
customer acquisition and retention, the team at DraftKings has the
potential to quickly achieve the top position in this market.”

DraftKings offers daily fantasy sports play with online settlement,
providing gamers with a low inertia, high reward way to play. DraftKings
provides fans with comprehensive access to fantasy sports by stripping
away the most time intensive and obtrusive elements of conventional
play, distilling the game to players’ favorite aspects of fantasy sports:

1. Daily fantasy sports games. No more season long commitments.

2. A community at the ready to play. No more hustling to round up a

3. On demand draft. Players can pick a new team whenever they choose,
which is much more fun than scrounging to substitute mid-season.

4. Players are never “out of contention”. No more going an entire season
with a poorly performing team. Engagement remains high for the duration.

5. Daily payouts. For those games involving financial stakes, players
can collect immediately.

6. Onsite settlement. DraftKings handles the transactions and
distribution of proceeds, freeing up precious administrative time.

For the seasoned fantasy sports fan, DraftKings provides ready access to
their favorite games. For the casual player, daily play and the clean
and streamlined user interface demystify the fantasy sports experience,
removing common hurdles to adoption. “As sports fans, we understand that
the technology has to seamlessly support the way consumers intend to
play the games; our approach is overwhelmingly customer driven. At the
same time, we are seeking to maximize data capture and test engine
flexibility for use in customizing future offerings,” said Paul
Liberman, co-founder and CTO. All players have the option of playing
daily fantasy sports games involving stakes or for free. For those
playing with stakes, DraftKings offers the highest payout and deposit
match percentages in the sector.

With extensive backgrounds in marketing analytics, customer relationship
management, and technical development, the DraftKings start-up team is
poised to capitalize on the fast-growing daily fantasy sports market.
“Playing fantasy sports should be fun and easy. Our approach is
data-driven, but those themes underlay every customer-facing decision we
make,” said Matt Kalish, COO and co-founder.

To learn more about DraftKings, please visit .

About DraftKings:

DraftKings is the online gaming destination where players engage in
daily fantasy sports competition for cash. For more information visit .

About Atlas Venture:

Atlas Venture is a leading early-stage venture capital firm that invests
in technology and life sciences companies. Since inception in 1980, we
have helped build over 350 companies in more than 16 different
countries. Atlas Venture is currently investing from its eighth fund and
manages over $2 billion in committed capital. For more information,
please visit .

About Boston Seed Capital:

Boston Seed Capital provides seed stage funding for internet-enabled
businesses. Boston Seed Capital funds from Boston to anywhere, and
alongside exceptional entrepreneurs and teams with innovative
breakthroughs. For more information, please visit .

About Hub Angels:

The Hub Angel Group invests across industry sectors as part of its
diversification strategy. Since 2000, Hub and its members have invested
more than $12 million in a broad range of sectors including financial
services, healthcare, water treatment, biotechnology, retail and
software as a service. For more information, please visit .

About Angel Street Capital:

Angel Street, ,
based in Providence, RI, provides equity capital to early stage digital
media companies. Founded in 2010, the firm’s current portfolio
represents over 15 investments in a number of areas including mobile,
marketing, data, and financial platforms. The firm works closely with
the CEO of its portfolio companies to leverage contacts and assist in
business development.

SOURCE: Atlas Venture

        Femi Wasserman, 339-225-2614

Copyright Business Wire 2012

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