GridRival, a sports betting startup dedicated exclusively to motorsports, has raised $3M in Seed funding.
The round was led by KB Partners, the Chicago-based sports-tech fund, with participation from Sharp Alpha Advisors, ESPT Ventures, and other sports betting investors and executives including Lloyd Danzig and Benjie Cherniak.
Over 500 million consumers around the globe tune into some form of auto racing every year. Together with motorsports, sports betting and fantasy sports have been experiencing explosive growth. Armed with 120,000 users and $3M in new capital, GridRival is poised to take advantage of this “trifecta” of perfect timing.
“As a lifelong motorsports fan that’s been watching the DFS and sports betting craze from the sidelines, I knew one thing was clear – if any brand was going to engage the racing audience in a meaningful way at significant scale, it must be done with a platform exclusive to motorsports. We plan to be the authentic, real-money gaming platform that race fans will actually resonate with,” Ross Fruin, CEO and Co-Founder of GridRival, said.
The motorsports app got its start as a “free-to-play” season-long fantasy sports platform and plans to use the new funding to launch its first real-money games in the US and UK in 2022 while simultaneously adding additional racing series to its apps.
“The number of global racing fans is huge but they are currently underserved by existing platforms that focus almost exclusively on traditional sports. We are thrilled to partner with the GridRival team as they build the first truly authentic fantasy sports and sports betting experience for this audience,” Steven Ahern of KB Partners said.
In an industry known for high user acquisition costs, the team at GridRival has found a formula for building a loyal audience. Their active players grew by 2000% YoY at the start of the 2021 season – with 60% of new users for 2021 stemming from viral growth. Their growth and engagement figures caught the eye of prominent sports betting thought leader and investor, Lloyd Danzig.
“Sports betting operators are currently amidst a customer acquisition gold rush in which the focus is increasingly being directed toward finding large, untapped audiences. GridRival has proven itself capable of targeting and engaging the Motorsports fan base at scale with an authentic, full-featured app,” Danzig said.
GridRival’s ambitions go beyond betting. “Our vision is to be ‘the home screen’ for the fans that use our platform. In addition to real money gaming, we want GridRival to be the hub that our users come to for motorsports-related content and community,” Fruin said.