Monday September 16,2013 : FAST GROWTH FOR SOCIAL SPORTS BETTING WEBSITE
Sportlobster is attracting major bookie firms.
A US football scholarship that ended in injury turned out to be a fortunate development for 28-year-old Scots entrepreneur Andy Meikle, his exposure to business and sports betting spurred him to form a social sports website earlier this year that already has a staff of 14 and is growing fast, catching the eye of several major bookmaking companies.
Meikle founded the London-based business Sportlobster with his friend Aaron Shepherd in April this year, raising a million dollars (GBP 635,900) through a Luxembourg private equity firm.
In just four months, using content from a wide variety of news and sports sources, the enterprise has attracted a large membership and caught the attention of major online bookmaking firms, The Scotsman newspaper reported over the weekend.
The idea for Sportlobster came to Meikle after he noticed how wide spread sports information was, and how popular this sort of data was for a large demographic.
“The penny dropped," Meikle told The Scotsman. "People have to search for these things across the internet and there are different destinations for news, placing bets and reading or writing blogs. There are multiple websites and apps. I thought a one-stop shop would be right.”
Sportlobster currently provides platforms for 32 sports, including complete news and fixture information for the “big seven” most-popular games in Europe – football, rugby, tennis, golf, cricket, basketball and Formula One motor racing.
The company plans to move into the US market by adding content for American football, ice hockey and college football, and is to launch an iOS platform app within the next two weeks.
Much of the Sportlobster content is gathered via news and data providers such as Opta Sports, as well as fan-sourced content from an active punter community that gathers at the site to exchange views and information.
Due to the volume of business interest shown in the venture, Meikle says the company will have to build a commercial team to meet demand from potential partners.
“We’ve only been around for four months but we already have had so many businesses approach us to see how they can be featured on our site and partner up with us,” he said.
“A lot of social networks have been built with the purpose of trying to be acquired quite quickly. That is why a lot of them are not even sure what their revenue streams are. We are building a business and we are building it to be profitable and lasting.
“We have already been approached by large betting sites. They are all showing an interest in our potential revenue streams.”