YouTube, Boxing Phenom Jake Paul Investing in Micro-Betting B2B Platform Simplebet

Posted on: August 27, 2021, 08:42h. 

Last updated on: August 27, 2021, 11:58h.

It’s time to take Jake Paul seriously. Though the social media personality-turned-boxer continues to generate headlines by making outlandish comments about his critics, the 24-year-old is hoping to use his current fame to establish a fortune that will long endure.

Jake Paul Simplebet micro-betting DraftKings
Jake Paul (left) and Tyron Woodley appear before the media ahead of their August 29, 2021, boxing match. Paul is investing heavily in sports betting, specifically micro-betting, by way of startup Simplebet. (Image: Getty)

This week, Paul’s Anti Fund, a venture capital vehicle, announced that it will lead a $30 million financing round for Simplebet. Along with the Anti Fund, the fundraising round is being driven by former UFC executive Nakisa Bidarian and his MMA talent advisory firm, Bavafa Sports.

Simplebet announced its biggest deal to date this week by revealing it has entered into a multi-year agreement with sports betting behemoth DraftKings. Under the terms, the sportsbook giant will be able to incorporate Simplebet’s business-to-business platform into its interactive product in states where it operates.

Simplebet specializes in micro-betting. In contrast with sportsbooks’ current in-game offerings, examples including whether an MLB team will score during the upcoming inning, Simplebet takes the action even further.

The B2B product makes every moment of a game a wagering opportunity. For example, with Simplebet, a fan watching a pro baseball game can bet on the outcome of the next pitch.

Paul Rise to Fame

Jake Paul’s career began on the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark. The series’ plotline somewhat foreshadowed Paul’s future. In Bizaardvark, two teenage sisters go viral after posting funny songs and comedic videos on the internet.

Paul, after being let go by Disney after two seasons, in 2017 launched his YouTube career. His videos and musical escapades have since garnered over seven billion views. His YouTube page has 20.4 million subscribers, an Instagram account with nearly 17 million fans, and Twitter four million followers.

Paul ventured into boxing in 2018. He’s undefeated at 3-0, though his greatest test will take place this Sunday against 39-year-old former UFC fighter Tyron Woodley.

Paul’s massive fanbase is fueling him being the favorite for the Showtime pay-per-view event. DraftKings has Paul the frontrunner at -210 (implied odds 67.74 percent). A $100 winning bet on that line nets $47.62.

Woodley, who has never boxed professionally, is the underdog at +170.

Paul Ups Ante

The Anti Fund leading the $30 million investment round for Simplebet, Paul says, is the fund’s largest dealing to date.

This is definitely the biggest round we’ve led so far,” Paul explained to Bloomberg. “We’re just increasing our check sizes, increasing our deal flow and increasing how involved we’re getting into companies.”

Simplebet CEO Chris Bevilacqua said the DraftKings deal is a “game-changer” for the firm. With incoming funding, the sports betting service plans to expand its current offerings from the NFL, MLB, and NBA. The PGA Tour, NHL, tennis, and UFC are a few sports being developed.

Bevilacqua believes micro-betting will be “the next evolution of sports betting,” and deliver new opportunities for bettors and operators alike.

Simplebet has several high-profile investors, including Starbucks Chairman Emeritus Howard Schultz and tennis legend Andre Agassi. Simplebet also recently named former MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren to its board.