Mojo hits the market
Mojo, a sports data tracking app backed by Alex Rodriguez, has made its initial launch in New Jersey.
players assigned values based on the stats they are expected to accrue
The app follows an interface similar to that of stock trading apps, with players assigned values based on the stats they are expected to accrue. Values fluctuate depending on performance, team outlook, and other confounding variables.
Mojo has already raised over $100m in funding thanks to Rodriguez, Minnesota Timberwolves owner Marc Lore, and tech experts Bart Stein and Vinit Bharara.
The product of decades
Despite Mojo only just launching on Monday, it has been a project decades in the making, according to its ownership.
In the late-1990s, Lore and Bharara created “The Pit,” which served as a stock market-style hub for sports card trading. That project was ultimately sold to Topps in 2001 for $5.7m.
“We thought it would be an amazing thing for the everyday sports fan if they could invest in athletes like stocks—what if we could create what we were calling a sports stock market,” Bharara said in an interview. “Fast forward 20 years later and Marc calls me, and he says, ‘This idea that we had a long time ago, this idea of the sports stock market, we should do that again. We should do it the right way.’”
a more modern version of long-term bets
Mojo was granted a New Jersey Gaming Commission license before its recent entrance into the market. Higher-ups described it as a more modern version of long-term bets, with player stocks being the markers to track the bets. The company has immediate plans to expand to nine other states and would also like to track other sports in its database.
In March, Mojo announced $75m in Series A funding led by Thrive Capital, an investment firm for tech companies. An additional $25m has been raised since, with contributions coming from the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), Chris Rock, and Gary Vaynerchuk, among others.
“We see a huge opportunity for Mojo to transform sports fandom by bringing fans closer to the players they know and love,” NFLPA president Steve Scebelo said in a statement.
Diversifying the market
Mojo’s uniqueness is yet another example of the developments occurring within the world of sports betting. At the start of the month, Jake Paul co-owned micro-betting platform Betr launched its free-to-play app, where users focus on small in-game events as opposed to large-scale outcomes.
An app known as “Juice Reel” has also been gaining notoriety for its approach to tracking and aggregating betting data, allowing players to spot favorable lines with ease.
However, there is a negative precedent looming over Mojo and its big-money team. In 2021, a soccer betting platform known as “Football Index,” which similarly allowed players to be tracked like stock options, collapsed, leaving around $125.4m of its patrons’ money in danger.
“[Mojo] is one of the greatest challenges I’ve ever worked on in my career,” said Stein. “You need the capital, you need the engineering, you need the people, and you need to have the time to basically go and comply with all those regulations.”