Tuesday April 19,2016 : CHINESE E-COMMERCE GIANT CONTINUES TO SHOW INTEREST IN THE SPORTS BETTING INDUSTRY
Alibaba and Handnice Capital invest $1.5 million in Chinese digital sports provider.
The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba continued to show interest in online gambling this week with a $1.5 million investment along with the Handnice Capital in Chinese digital sports data company LeidaSports.
The new deal follows last September's formation of Ali Sports in collaboration with media corporation Sina and private equity firm Yunfeng Capital and the more recent agreement by Alibaba subsidiary UC Web with Sports Craze and LeidaSports.
The investment will see LeidaSports, which provides sports data information and betting services, merging with Chinese sports application Sports Craze, which has an active user base of more than five million. Sports Craze will then operate as a subsidiary of LeidaSports.
The merged company will supply sports data and diverse content to sports content providers across China through LeidaSports’ existing partnership with leading sports and betting-related data company Sportradar.
Chinese punters will benefit from access to a wide range of virtual sports games, in addition to a play-for-fun sportsbook via the Leidasports/Sports Craze network, the company statement claims.
The two brands will also work together to develop a range of betting services for the Chinese Super League domestic club football competition. This will include betting services on the Leidasports/Sports Craze website and mobile application, combined with other related betting services that will target the entertainment and e-sports sector.
Kai Sun, co-founder of LeidaSports, said: “The two companies will develop rich sporting data and games based on European football and basketball leagues."
In the medium-term, Ali Sports will work with the Leida Group on e-Sports initiatives with leading sports competitions such as the North American NFL American football league and National Collegiate Athletic Association college sports conferences.