Sports and fantasy sports betting firm TopBetta hopes to raise around A$7 million
TopBetta, an Australian online sports and fantasy sports betting firm run by former rugby league player-manager Todd Buckingham, is heading for the ASX stock exchange, where it hopes to raise between $5 million and $7 million from investors by listing in September.
Buckingham says the popularity of fantasy sports is a key differentiator in the betting marketplace.
TopBetta's online platform allows private and public fantasy wagering as well as traditional betting, with TopBetta taking a cut of between 10 percent and 25 percent of the money deposited by punters.
The firm has wagering turnover of about A$1 million per month and revenue in excess of A$100,000 per month, Buckingham told The Australian Financial Review – up from revenues of A$20,000 a month a year ago.
TopBetta evolved from another Buckingham online start-up, 12follow which was a cellphone text service designed to alert users when their horses were running. Buckingham was also involved in a tournament to identify Australia's Top Punter.
That attracted 15,000 sign-ups and encouraged Buckingham to explore other gambling-related opportunities, and he made an A$5 million investment in TopBetta.
The operation is licensed, and has agreements in place with the NRL, AFL, Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia and some racing bodies.
Buckingham's strategy for a stock exchange listing involves a backdoor tactic, using the Beauty Health Group. In March this year BHG, which Buckingham manages, announced its pending acquisition of TopBetta, along with a capital raising drive, and an intention to apply for a re-quotation of BHG shares on the ASX.
If the listing is successful the new capital will be used for marketing and the employment of additional IT developers to work on the company platform as part of a growth strategy. The immediate target is profitability by mid-2016, according to Buckingham.
"We're close to profitability now if we don't do any marketing but you can't grow if you don't do any marketing," Buckingham said in the AFR interview.
Growth plans include an entry into the booming American fantasy sports market; Buckingham went to the United States a year ago to look at possibilities in the fantasy sports market, and claims that a number of companies were interested in partnership deals.
"We just weren't ready 12 months ago. We wanted to get some runs on the board here in Australia before we head overseas but it's definitely on our radar," he said.
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