Sharp Alpha Advisors has announced the final closing of Sharp Alpha Fund I, an oversubscribed $10m venture capital fund investing in early-stage sports betting technology companies.
The fund, based in New York City, has already helped 11 startups, including Players’ Lounge, GridRival, PickUp, and Prophet. It targets initial allocations averaging $250,000 in Seed and Series A financings, with plans to provide follow-on support in subsequent rounds.
Sharp Alpha also manages a co-investment vehicle that allows limited partners to invest additional capital in select deals alongside the fund. The firm has made initial allocations of over $1m through the use of this vehicle.
Managing Partner Lloyd Danzig believes the sports betting industry is ripe for early-stage investment, stating: “Not only is the sports betting industry at an inflection point, but market leaders are choosing to buy rather than build at every turn.
“With M&A serving as the primary mechanism through which operators achieve differentiation and vertical integration, it is a great time to underwrite next-gen infrastructure.”
Sharp Alpha’s advisory board includes Keith Horn, who was previously the COO of Elliott Management and Global Head of Leveraged Finance at Merrill Lynch; Emanuel Pearlman, the former Chairman of Empire Resorts and board member at several public companies; Adam Davis, the former Chief Commercial Officer at Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment and Chief Revenue Officer of the New Jersey Devils.
The board also features Daniel Bernard, a Venture Partner at Mindspring Capital and Chairman of Redwood International Sports; Roy Behren, the President and Chief Investment Officer of a $5.2bn asset manager specializing in merger arbitrage and former enforcement attorney for the SEC; and Don Kornstein, the Vice Chairman of Caesars Entertainment and a former executive at numerous gaming companies.
Notable institutional investors of the fund include Great Elm Group and the Dutch Sport Tech Fund, as well as several multi-billion dollar venture capital funds, family offices, and private equity groups.
Other limited partners include senior executives from several investment banks, hedge funds, and publicly traded sports betting companies. All advisory board members are investors too.
The fund also gives the portfolio companies a multitude of advisory services and strategic resources, connecting them directly to sources of revenue, brand awareness, and future funding via its limited partner network.