US Social Sports Betting App Wagr Closes Multimillion-Dollar Seed Round, Led By Reddit Founder

  • Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian invested $4m in Wagr through his venture capital fund
  • Wagr aims to be a peer-to-peer betting platform rather than a traditional sportsbook
  • Wagr will start off only offering exchange betting for major US sports
  • The platform is awaiting regulatory approval in Virginia and Tennessee
Alex Ohanian
Social sports betting startup Wagr has raised millions in a successful seed round, with Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian investing $4m through his venture capital fund. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Numerous notable investors

US social sports betting startup Wagr has completed a successful round of seed funding. Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian was the lead investor in this round, committing $4m to the project through his Seven Seven Six venture capital firm.

A number of other notable parties got involved during this funding round, including investment firms Pear Ventures and Greycroft, Ole Smoky founder Joe Baker, and Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen.

wagers between friends about sporting outcomes”

Seven Seven Six only launched in February, but it has already invested in 20 businesses, spanning a number of different sectors. Speaking about Wagr, Ohanian said: “It’s about productizing what already goes down in everyone’s group chat, which is wagers between friends about sporting outcomes.”

A social form of betting

Wagr was setup in April 2020 and is looking to get people placing bets without necessarily needing to know much about sports betting. In a post on LinkedIn, Wagr outlined how it is striving to develop a “social, simple, and inclusive sports betting experience that anyone can enjoy safely.”

Wagr looks to cater to recreational US bettors and wants to create a more social setting for betting rather than following the traditional sportsbook model. It wants to allow people to bet against friends rather than a bookie.

Initially, Wagr will provide exchange betting for the major US sports and will only be in the form of point spread wagers. This means that people will be able to pick a team that they think will win a given game (with the spread) and their family member, friend, or another member of their social community can take the other side of the bet. If nobody in their social group wants to take on the wager, then the app can match the user with someone else in their state who will.

Awaiting regulatory approval

Wagr plans to allow a maximum bet of $500, though users will have the ability to establish lower limits. It also plans to launch prop bets and moneyline wagers in the future. It is eyeing the Virginia and Tennessee markets for its US debut, once it gets the necessary regulatory approval. Wagr plans to charge users a platform fee to access this service.

One of the startup’s advisers is former Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman.

It does have some people with direct experience in the gambling industry onboard. One of the startup’s advisers is former Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman. Wagr is in the process of entering what is a rapidly growing market in the US, with more and more states looking to legalize sports betting. According to a Goldman Sachs estimate in March, the total addressable market for the US online sports betting sector is approximately $30bn.