- »Aussie Company PlayUp Finds Success in US Market
Aussie Company PlayUp Finds Success in US Market
PlayUp is a company based in Australia, in New South Wales to be exact. It started operating in Australia and New Zealand, eventually expanding to India. Most recently, the online betting technologies provider obtained a license to operate in New Jersey in the United States.
Its foray into the US betting market put PlayUp on the radar of more people around the world.
Australia is Home for PlayUp
The largest market for operations is Australia, as NSW is home to PlayUp. It is licensed to operate in multiple jurisdictions Down Under.
It makes sense because the company first registered its business with the Australian government in 2009 under a different name but registered as Sports Fantasy Free Pty Ltd in 2015. Little more than a year later, it changed to PlayUp Australia Pty Ltd and then to PlayUp Digital Pty Ltd in February 2018.
In 2017, as the company transformed into PlayUp, entrepreneur Daniel Simic took over and relaunched the company with a focus on free-play daily fantasy sports online. He modernized the business to keep up with current betting interests. His goal was to expand the entire brand and include a real-money-play sports fantasy platform.
Simic pushed into the Indian market and began signing new users to the free-play site at an impressive rate. In three months in the first half of 2017, the site attracted 100,000 people with a solid 85% retention rate, per the Australian Financial Review.
Short-term success and long-term goals attracted new investors. And that turned into cloud-based platforms for fixed-odds sports betting and horse/dog racing, and eSports, in addition to its original star, the daily fantasy sports (DFS) peer-to-peer betting platform.
Growing and Expanding
PlayUp published its last full-year report in mid-2020 for the year ending 30 June 2019.
The numbers showed a tough road. While the company shoed more than $14M in revenue, its expenses were greater and put the year’s final comprehensive loss at $10.8M. Equity came in at negative $6M. Even so, the company was in a growth pattern that was leaps and bounds above its FY2018 financial sheets.
With all of that said, though, PlayUp’s intent was to consolidate the brands acquired in the previous financial year, rebrand and expand, and show long-term potential. Besides growing in Australia, PlayUp was ready to secure sports betting licenses in the US market and work toward a public offering on Nasdaq.
Simic remains in place as the Global CEO, with Dr. Laila Mintas serving as the CEO in the US, Paul Jeronimo as the Australian CEO, and James Waddell as the COO.
American Betting Opportunities
The Australian market is growing, and PlayUp is consistently working to expand its already-secure place in its home country. It expanded significantly in India in the past two years as well, even appearing at ICE London in 2019 to network.
PlayUp snuck into the American market by acquiring the distribution rights to two major Florida greyhound tracks in 2019. PlayUp became the sole provider of streaming for Palm Beach Kennel Club and bestbet Jacksonville. Soon after, it moved into North Dakota in America as the sole provider of wagering and fantasy sports contests via the ND Racing Commission.
Seriously Serious about US Growth
In May 2020, PlayUp appointed Mintas as its American CEO, to facilitate the growth of the company in America. At that time, Simic said the US was on its way to becoming the “largest legal sports betting market in the world with estimated revenue potential of over $17B.”
In July, PlayUp applied to offer online sports betting in the state of Colorado via Bull Durham Casino. Mintas estimated that Colorado market to have the potential of earning $300M. That license received final approval by September 1, 2020.
That led to a capital fundraising drive in late 2020 to sustain PlayUp’s rapid growth in the US market. And it was successful. At the beginning of November, the company announced an oversubscription of the $25M entitlement offer with an investor profile from Australia to internationally.
Further movement in the US followed:
- PlayUp appoints Hall of Famer Dennis Drazin to the PlayUp Board of Directors with a US focus.
- New Jersey approves sports betting license for PlayUp based on a Freehold Racetrack partnership.
- PlayUp announces multi-year agreement with New Jersey Devils (of the National Hockey League, or NHL) and Prudential Center in New Jersey. This includes PlayUp as the presenting partner of a newly redesigned PlayUp Studio, Season Preview Show, and Pre-Game Live Show for all home games.
It seems that PlayUp has secured a place in the US betting market. And it is one that is growing rapidly as state after state approves new forms of betting and DFS.