BetDEX the new venture of Nigel Eccles, former founder of FanDuel, has secured a $21 million seed funding round – “the largest ever seed executed by a UK start-up”.
A raft of investors led by San Francisco crypto fund Paradigm and Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX has backed Eccles to transform BetDEX into the “world’s first decentralized sports betting protocol”.
Last month Eccles disclosed his return to sports betting via BetDEX, a venture designed to deliver the low-cost and ultra-fast transactional benefits of Solana (SOL) blockchain to global betting consumers.
He has hired Varun Sudhakar (CEO) and Stuart Tonner (CTO), former engineering executives of FanDuel, to lead his new venture – as BetDEX undertakes its enterprise plan to “scale the business from a base in Scotland and is now hiring for a range of positions”.
BetDEX’s venture mandate is to develop a protocol-built, fully decentralised betting exchange that will house an open-source environment allowing third-party engineers to build their own applications and innovate the platform.
A long-term acolyte of blockchain-led innovations, Eccles believes that the next wave of decentralised technologies will disrupt betting’s static tech environment, creating ripe conditions for a new venture to revolutionise a global market forecasted to grow to forecasted $350 billion by 2024.
He noted: “Blockchain technology is set to revolutionise sports betting and we want to be at the forefront of that. It’s exciting to be founding the business with Varun and Stuart, and to be building it in Scotland.
“We are energized to have the backing and wealth of expertise that comes with having Paradigm and FTX as cornerstone investors.”
Leading the seed funding round, Paradigm disclosed that BetDEX has received the backing of Multicoin Capital, Hack VC, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sino Global Capital, Solana Ventures, and Everblue Management.
BetDEX backers agreed with Eccles’ judgement that “despite the immense size, popularity and potential of the sports betting market, it has been characterized by incumbents charging high fees and delivering minimal product innovation”.
“The sports betting industry charges high prices for poor products and limits trades by its most successful users, “explained Sudhakar, Co-Founder and CEO of BetDEX
He added: “BetDEX is diametrically opposed to this approach, we will successfully compete against incumbents with a markedly superior product and low fees, which is now possible with the advent of blockchain technology. Winners will always be welcome on our protocol.