NFT Sports Betting App Pulls in $5.3M, Adds Former NBA VP to Board

Stakes allows users to place bets on sports and win NFTs rather than cash.
Written by Miranda Perez
May 3, 2022Updated: May 5, 2022
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Sports betting and wagering are fan-favored traditions that are as old as time. As technology has evolved, the ways to rake in on sports bets have changed too. Fans no longer have to chip into a physical pot of winnings and instead can opt to use mobile apps that allow them to make bets with other users. 

Stakes, a new and local sports wagering app with a twist, announced on Tuesday it raised $5.3 million in seed funding to grow its user base and hire. The platform is competing with big names like FanDuel and DraftKings, which are some of the most popular apps in sports betting. To date, FanDuel has raised $416.2 million in venture funding and DraftKings has raised $719.4 million, according to Crunchbase. 

While Stakes is an emerging platform in the sector, the startup offers a unique take on wagering by allowing users to earn non-fungible tokens (NFTs) if their bets wind up in their favor. The platform is free and allows users to place wagers without risking anything of monetary value, according to the company.  

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“Users will be able to transfer NFTs to their own wallets and self-custody. Since they are crypto-assets they own, they will be able to transfer them to another wallet address, list them on a marketplace like OpenSea to sell or just hold on to them to show off their status as a knowledgeable sports fan,” Kevin Wang, CEO and founder of Stakes, told Built In via email.

According to the company, Stakes has minted over 8,000 NFTs to over 2,500 users.

“Digital sports betting increasingly feels like math homework devoid of the emotion, energy and sense of community that motivates fans, especially this new generation of sports lovers,” Wang said in a statement. “Stakes re-imagines sports betting for the 21st century by using NFTs as rewards. We combine social media, gaming and crypto to tap into what sports fans are truly after — friendly competition, showing off knowledge and earning bragging rights. NFTs are a unique way to achieve this.”

Alongside the recent raise, Stakes is bringing on Sam Li, former vice president of the National Basketball Association, as a strategic investor and advisor.

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