Maryland-based ratings agency and performance rating platform for sports betting SharpRank has raised $2.5 million thus far in a new seed round. SharpRank’s latest raise comes as the sports betting market gained momentum in 2021 and the industry doubled in size as Americans wagered over $52.7 billion on sports, according to research from Morning Consult. The firm’s data showed that nearly one in five adults bet on sports at least once a month.
The company aims to use the funding to continue to enhance its data science and technical infrastructure, along with testing how its product meets current market demand. The company began raising money on March 4 and is still in talks with additional investors, which may oversubscribe the round. “What we see in the market a lot is a merging of sportsbook operators and media platforms,” said SharpRank’s CEO Christopher Adams, as reported by The Business Journals.
The seed round is supported by the Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO), Old Line Capital, Sharp Alpha Advisors, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, and other independent investors. The company’s last round was in 2021 when it raised $1.4 million.
Along with the new capital funding, SharpRank is monetizing partnerships with media companies, such as Sports Illustrated and USA Today. The company’s CEO said that a lot of sportsbook operators are also interested in the product as they move toward having more robust content arms and producing videos and articles about the industry.
The startup helps companies in the sports betting ecosystem compare their analysts to make better hiring decisions and source new talent through data using over 40 in-house parameters, including risk profiles.
Additionally, SharpRank has a consumer app for amateur bettors with 15,000 active users. The app creates profiles detailing the picking habits of both sports betting experts and regular sports fans, which allows media companies or sportsbooks to create content tailored to specific users.
“We create a huge advantage for partners because we’re looking at the DNA of the expert, and matching it with the DNA of one of their consumers,” Adams stated to the previously cited media. For instance, the company can offer sportsbooks the option to create more individualized promotions, such as risk-free bets for specific games instead of blanket promotions; and can offer sports betting experts a way to establish their credentials.