Reddit Co-Founder Invests in Gambling Social Media Startup Wagr
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is dipping his toes into the sports betting world through Wagr. Wagr is a revolutionary sports betting app that is expected to revolutionize the industry. Ohanian is heading the investment team, dropping $4 million into the product.
Background on Wagr
Wagr was founded in April 2020. The app will be a gambling platform that allows people to bet on sports against their friends. This is like head-to-head contests on daily fantasy sports.
DFS is less intimidating than sports betting, and Wagr hopes to entice casual bettors to take a chance on the market through its accessible platform. There will be features on the sportsbook that make it very simple to begin betting, so Wagr should expand to casual bettors.
Ohanian spoke to Bloomberg.com about his excitement for the future of Wagr.
“It’s about productizing what already goes down in everyone’s group chat, which is wagers between friends about sporting outcomes. Right now, the way these get resolved is through a Cash App payment or a Venmo payment on Monday, and surely we can do better.”
Friendly sports betting takes place through Venmo and the Cash app, but Wagr will formalize the system and expand sports betting to a new demographic.
The Investment Team
Ohanian’s $4 million investment will help take Wagr to the next level when it goes live. The entrepreneur is investing through his firm, Seven Seven Six. Additional investors include Greycroft, Pear Ventures, Justin Mateen, and Brad Martin.
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Mateen is the co-founder of Tinder and Martin is the former chairman, and CEO of Saks Inc. Wagr has an investment team with the resources to make it great, but only time will tell how the platform will perform.
Gary Loveman will also play a substantial role in Wagr. Loveman is the former CEO of Caesars Entertainment, and he will serve as an adviser for Wagr. He will be tasked with creating a strategy for breaking into the sports betting market controlled by DraftKings and FanDuel.
These platforms, along with other conglomerates like BetMGM and PointsBet, have attracted most of the market. Although, these sites have not been great at attracting casual bettors. This is the market that Wagr is trying to attract.
The Future of Wagr
Mario Malave, Wagr’s founder, and CEO explained how the app would work in a recent interview.
“Our app really strips down the betting experience to the bare essentials — we’re launching with point-spread bets only. From a user’s perspective, all you have to do is pick a team, decide who you want to bet against, and select how much you want to wager.”
There will be a platform fee for users to play on Wagr. However, the app will handle all the odds, payments, and wagers.
When the platform launches, bettors will be able to wager either side of the monyeline, point spread, or total against any member of the Wagr community who wants to play. If the user cannot find anyone who wants to take their bet, Wagr will find another competitor in the same state.
The maximum bet is going to be $500 when the sportsbook launches. Ohanian believes this concept is going to appeal to bettors in the United States.
“Ultimately, it’s to create a healthier approach to gambling. It’s frankly the perfect time for a business like Wagr to come in and want to build something that really disrupts the way that sports betting has traditionally been done.”
The company is currently seeking licensure in Tennessee and Virginia.