With the future of the daily fantasy industry uncertain, it’s not hard to imagine that industry backers would be nervous about their investment. But not Mark Cuban, the billionaire capitalist and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. While some have become wary of DFS, Cuban believes the outlook for the industry is quite good, and has made a significant investment into the sports analytics firm Fantasy Labs.
Fantasy Labs was created by DFS star Peter Jennings and DraftKings analyst Jonathan Bales, and provides a suite of analytics and tools which can help players optimize their lineups and experiment with prediction modeling. The company provides data for MLB, NFL and NBA contests, and has plans to introduce analytics for the growing world of eSports in the near future.
“We are pleased to have the support of a visionary investor like Mr. Cuban, and are grateful for his support in our goal of creating an environment where fans can easily access and 嘉盛集团 leverage sports analytics for actionable purposes,” said Jennings in a release. “We’re especially excited for how Mr. Cuban’s influence on our organizational development will enable us to expand our analytics offerings into new areas like eSports games, as well as continuing to optimize our core competencies.”
Not shy about DFS support
Cuban, costar of the hit reality investment TV show Shark Tank, is an outspoken proponent of the daily fantasy industry. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Cuban told an audience that DFS wasn’t gambling, and that you’d “have to be an idiot” to think it was.
“The only people who think it’s gambling, as opposed to skill, are people who haven’t played or people who have other political agendas, because that’s also very important these days,” he added.
He also made a comment which revealed one of the reasons for his confidence in the Fantasy Labs investment, even with the recent scrutiny on the industry. “Even if we don’t figure it out here in the US, the rest of the world is still wide open,” he said.
Cuban’s growing data portfolio
Fantasy Labs isn’t Cuban’s only investment in the sports data vertical. He is also a backer of the data company Sportradar, along with basketball superstar Michael Jordan and Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.
Cuban has previously invested in online eSports betting site Unikrn, which is only available in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
“The explosive growth of fantasy sports, and its involvement with new categories of competition like eSports, increases the need for high-end resources like the platform offered by Fantasy Labs,” said Cuban. “I’m excited to be involved with a company that is working to advance an industry that is poised for huge growth.”
Fantasy Labs was launched last year, after its cofounders recognized the need for sports analytical tools in the DFS industry. $1 million in DraftKings’ first-ever live DFS contest. Bales is the author of Fantasy Sports for Smart People, and contributes to the New York Times, NBC, ABC and others.