PrizePicks Secures $850,000 in Funding, Capital Raise Includes Poker Legend Phil Hellmuth

Posted on: July 8, 2020, 09:44h. 

Last updated on: July 8, 2020, 02:45h.

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) company PrizePicks landed $850,000 in capital during its latest funding round led by Parlay Capital Holdings. Poker legend Phil Hellmuth is also among the angel investors participating in the financing for the company.

PrizePicks Secures Funding
Poker legend Phil Hellmuth, seen here in 2018 with his 15th WSOP bracelet, is among the investors in DFS startup PrizePicks. (Image: ESPN) reached out to PrizePicks’ external public relations agency to discern what funding round this is for the DFS operator and what the $850,000 in capital values the company at. Those details weren’t disclosed, but the PR firm said the money was raised via a convertible note.

Convertible bonds or notes are referred to as such because the instruments can later be converted into equity in the issuing company. Instead of receiving interest payments as a traditional bondholder would, the convertible owner gains an equity stake in the issuer.

Gaming stocks have been one of the few areas impervious to the COVID-19 recession,” according to a statement issued by PrizePicks.

“DraftKings, another operator within the sports betting industry, recently reached a merger deal to go public this past April,” the statement continued. DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and FanDuel, a unit of Flutter Entertainment Plc (OTC:PDYPY), dominate the domestic DFS market, essentially acting as a duopoly.

PrizePicks differs from its entrenched rivals in notable fashion. A competitor building a lineup on DraftKings or FanDuel is aiming to accumulate as many points as possible. But on PrizePicks, the projected fantasy points for each player are posted on the platform, and gamblers build their lineups and then wager on the over/under of those points estimates.

The site’s current offerings include esports, The Basketball Tournament (TBT), NASCAR, and the PGA Tour.

Prompted by the Pandemic

Like larger DFS companies, PrizePicks was pinched by the dearth of sports during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, which CEO Adam Wexler acknowledges prompted the bridge capital raise. The company is eyeing “a priced round fundraise ahead of the start of the 2020 NFL season.”

Last month, Parlay Capital, the leader of the recent capital raise, announced an investment in Chicago-based Betsperts, a crowd-sourced app that offers free and subscription-based products allowing users to follow betting experts across a multitude of sports. Betsperts posts the records of handicappers.

AMJ Ventures — a family venture fund specializing in early-stage consumer and consumer technology companies — also participated in the PrizePicks funding round, along with Parlay Capital and Hellmuth.

Hellmuth, a Heavy Hitter

For Hellmuth, a 15-time World Series Of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, PrizePicks is the latest in a long line of investments for the player dubbed the “Poker Brat.”

One of the richest poker players of all-time, Hellmuth has a broad portfolio of betting-related investments, including stakes in the integrated sports crowdfunding platform YouStake and BlitzPredict, an aggregator of global sports betting data that is based on blockchain technology.

The WSOP Hall of Famer is also involved with Muzik Headphones, Deck of Dice, and Lasso, a maker of biomedically engineered athletic apparel. He’s worth an estimated $23 million. His investment in PrizePicks wasn’t disclosed.