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Mobile-Oriented Daily Fantasy Company Draft Closes $3.5M Round Of VC Funding

Mobile-Oriented Daily Fantasy Company Draft Closes $3.5M Round Of VC Funding

By Eric Fisher, Staff Writer

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New York-based daily fantasy sports company Draft has closed on a $3.5M Series A round of venture capital funding, led by California-based Upfront Ventures. Draft offers a mobile-oriented, more casual daily fantasy product, described by company executives as a Words With Friends for fantasy sports but still providing real-money prizes. Founders Jeremy Levine and Nicolo Giorgi previously built StarStreet, which was sold last year to DraftKings. Upfront Ventures is led in part by partner Greg Bettinelli, a former business development executive with eBay, StubHub and Live Nation. Levine said he and Bettinelli originally became acquainted over Twitter, which ultimately led to a series of meetings and then the investment. "We're going after a different part of the market," Levine said. "DraftKings and FanDuel are great businesses and they have great products, including their mobile apps. But nobody's really built a great fantasy game truly for mobile. So we're putting our energies around what is exactly the right kind of game for this platform." Also participating in the funding round were Advancit Capital; BoxGroup; The Chernin Group, led by former News Corp. exec Peter Chernin; and Queensbridge Venture Partners, which includes rapper Nas.

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