DraftKings enters ‘Unicorn Club’ with $300 million Series D funding

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins

The US tech industry has branded the birth of another ‘Unicorn’ as daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator DraftKings announces that it has raised $300 million (£195 million) in series D funding.

21 Century Fox’s Fox Sports division contributed the majority of the rounds funding capital, other investors included venture capital firms Atlas Ventures, Kraft Group and Raine Group.

This latest financing round takes DraftKings venture investment to $375 million to date, US tech sources report that DraftKings will now valued at more than $1.2 billion.

As part of its funding agreement with Fox Sports, DraftKings will be committed to spending $250 million ad-spend on the broadcasters media and digital channels over the next three years.

The media partnership with Fox Sports, follows last week’s announcement that DraftKings has sealed a $250 million ad-spend agreement with ESPN Disney the US’s biggest sports broadcaster, becoming its exclusive DFS partner.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins detailed that the investment would be used to capitalise on the explosive growth of the US fantasy sports market.

“Once you know that you’ve got something that’s working, and you know you’ve got a big market that you’re going after, you want to put your foot on the gas,” Robins said. “And that’s certainly what we’re doing right now.”

In the month of July DraftKings has sealed two high coverage broadcast deals over competitor FanDuel, who this month announced that it had secured $275 million in funding with Google Capital and Time Warner as Series E investors.

Tech analysts have been divided by the high level investment in DraftKings, a company which recorded $30 million in revenues for 2014. Furthermore the DFS has seen rising costs in operations and marketing, and there appears to be mounting concerns regarding potential legislative provisions placed on the sector

Boston based DraftKings joins the ‘Unicorn’ club as a tech company that has soared to a +$1 billion valuation based on its fundraising to date. 

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