The Sports Gambling Investment Fund (SGIF), a venture capital organization focused primarily on opportunities in the legalized US sports betting space, has announced the establishment of the first-ever venture fund dedicated to discovering, funding, and guiding the development of the best startups in the casino industry.
In a statement, SGIF said it will play an invaluable role for startups, helping to guide them through the complex landscape of regulated gambling. It also aims to add further value to portfolio companies by helping to ensure optimal product fit and market access.
The fund’s management team comprises Chris Grove, Partner at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, David Sargeant, Founder and CEO of iGaming Ideas; Blaine Graboyes, Co-Founder and CEO of GameCo; Seth Schorr, Chairman of Fifth Street Gaming and co-founder of the streaming media startup Konek TV; and SeventySix Capital.
Said Grove: “There’s no doubt that the keys to fully unlocking the potential of the US sports betting market are in the hands of startups. We’re just now starting to see the ideas that will ultimately define sports betting in the United States.”
“The pace of development in the US market only increases the opportunity for startups,” added Sargeant, who has evaluated hundreds of early-stage companies during his career. “Large casinos and software providers won’t have the bandwidth or resources to truly innovate. They’re too busy simply getting up and running.”
“Startups don’t always appreciate what problems larger gambling companies are actually looking to solve and what opportunities do and don’t resonate with those companies,” said Schorr, who has held management roles at several Las Vegas casinos and currently operates the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas.
He added: “We will help our startups hone their product, model, and approach to fit with the real demand within the gambling industry, and then match a startup’s product to that demand.”