August 30, 2021
Meet Alex Kane, a Drexel Alumnus whose startup, Sporttrade, just closed a round of funding where they raised $36 million from a handful of investors. Sporttrade is an app that will change the way you think about sports betting, it’s the first dynamic sports betting and trading platform where users can trade sports bets just like stocks.
The idea was born after Alex placed a bet that didn’t have a great chance of winning but surprisingly came close. This sparked an idea for Alex, it didn’t make sense that you either won or lost a bet, there should have been a way to sell your pick as the odds fluctuated. After fleshing out his idea and discussing it with professors at the Charles D. Close School, Alex knew he was on to something big. With stock trading apps such as Robinhood becoming widely accepted and sports betting becoming legal in many places, the market was ripe for disruption.
As a senior at Drexel, Alex took his idea to the perfect place to receive funding and feedback… Startup Fest. After a failed pitch in front of a crowd of over 100 people, Alex realized he had to work on his delivery. Although his initial attempt to share the idea had failed, this experience helped Alex simplify his concept and learn to hook people right from the start. By the time he graduated he knew pursuing his business, Sporttrade was the right idea. In 2019, Alex was accepted to the Comcast and NBC Lift Labs incubator where he was able to raise his first bit of funding, receive mentorship from some of the most knowledgeable people in his field, and was able to identify his competitors & his competitive advantage. As sports betting continues to be legalized across the country, being a part of the incubator gave Alex and his idea the perfect place to grow. The next step was starting, but how was he going to make an app, build a team, and raise money?
At the start of 2020, Alex had a small team that had begun to grow; starting with two at the beginning of the year, his team quickly grew to 8, then 15 to 20 - they are currently at 55 employees. It was during this growth when raising capital became an important part of the discussion. After building a financial model, they settled on $36 million which would allow them to sign agreements for betting licenses across the country, allow them to acquire the proper tech and talent, and give them the ability to market their company. After pitching their idea, they were able to secure funding from a group of investors.
Alex’s journey from idea to execution is a great example for young entrepreneurs, even though there were bumps along the way, he stuck to it and learned from his mistakes. Sporttrade is now set to launch in New Jersey and recently acquired the license to get started in Colorado as well. To stay up to date on Sporttrade click here, and to sign up for Startup Fest 2021 for the chance to pitch your idea just like Alex did, click here.