FanDuel & DraftKings revise future options for a changing US sports market

The two leading players in the US daily fantasy sports (DFS) market, FanDuel and DraftKings are reported to be assessing their future enterprise options.

Last week US news source Axios detailed that New York and Edinburgh based FanDuel was in advanced discussions to ‘go public’, reviewing a potential ‘reverse merger’ with special investment vehicle Platinum Eagle Acquisition Corp.

Platinum Eagle is led by veteran Hollywood financier Jeff Sagansky, and in January its management team raised $325 million listing on the Nasdaq exchange.

US sources detail that FanDuel governance has held unsuccessful talks with regards to its future financing through private investment, having raised $430 million to date in venture funding.

2017 saw FanDuel restructure its leadership team, promoting CFO Matt King to CEO following the departure of enterprise co-founder Nigel Eccles.

Meanwhile, competitor DraftKings has moved to diversify its products and services beyond DFS contests, as the company anticipates a transformative 2018 for US sports.

The Boston-based firm has moved to extend its sports-based services including live streaming of games and match day ticketing through strategic partnerships.

DraftKings governance eagerly awaits the US Supreme Court’s judgement on repealing federal PASPA provisions, which would finally open the US sports betting market.

This February, DraftKings stated its intent on becoming early licensed US sports betting incumbent, hiring  Sean Hurley as its first-ever Head of Sportsbook.

Hurley will lead DraftKings sportsbook operations in the firm’s new ‘betting strategic office in Hoboken, New Jersey’.

This week, DraftKings CEO and Co-founder Jason Robins, stated that his firm would be ready to tackle the US betting market should PASPA be repealed.

The opening of a US licensed sports betting market, would see DraftKings likely compete against well-funded international operators (William Hill, Betfair, etc) and potential home market giants such as ESPN, Comcast and Verizon.

Competing in what will likely become an expensive multi-billion $ market for its incumbents, Jason Robins maintains that an IPO remains the goal for DraftKings operations, rather than selling or merging the enterprise.

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