BuddyBet secures investment of $3m

‘Peer-to-Peer’ betting start-up will use funds to expand into mobile and online gaming markets

‘Social Gaming’ start up BuddyBet announced on Monday that it has secured $3m (£1.9m) in equity from private investors, allowing it to finance an expansion of its product into the online and mobile gaming markets.

Launched in October 2012 by American entrepreneur Jarrod Epps, Isle of Man-based BuddyBet allows users to place sporting bets directly against each other rather than against the house, a model known as ‘P2P’ betting. Since launch the firm has grown to 21 employees and also recently announced a deal with Digital Sports Group to integrate its software into around 180 websites.

The $3m investment will be used to introduce the BuddyBet system into monetised online and mobile games by allowing players to place bets against their opponents within the game. The company claims that this will provide an attractive and less intrusive alternative for developers and consumers to the current monetisation models of online gaming, which is currently dominated by sponsored advertising and ‘freemium’ payment models.

A recent study by investment bank Digi-Capital estimated the online and mobile gaming industry will be worth $83bn (£54bn) by 2016, despite social gaming investment falling by $1bn last year, and BuddyBet is confident that it will take advantage of a rapidly expanding market. Jarrop Epps, chief executive of BuddyBet, said: “Games developers, big and small, all face similar challenges when it comes to monetising their games. For huge brands with dedicated communities it is easier to charge a high retail price. However, online and mobile developers targeting more casual gamers must turn to alternative methods such as banner advertising and ‘freemium’ models which annoy their audience and often drive users away.

“We believe that in-game betting is an effective way of monetising games without the negative implications for a pure and user-friendly experience that occur with other popular monetisation methods. BuddyBet offers a fun and effective way of allowing gamers to support their favourite developers, and this latest round of funding will be crucial to our effort to fulfil this objective.”

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