Fantasy sports startup DraftKings to go public in a $3.3 billion merger deal
DraftKings, a Boston, Massachusetts-based fantasy sports startup that provides online daily and weekly fantasy sports contests for cash prizes in major sports, announced today it’ll go public next year in a deal that values the company at $3.3 billion. The IPO is part of a three-way merger with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp., a firm founded by Hollywood veterans Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky.
“The combined company will become the only vertically-integrated pure-play sports betting and online gaming company based in the United States. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020. In connection with the closing of the transaction, Diamond Eagle intends to change its name to DraftKings Inc., reincorporate in Nevada and remain Nasdaq-listed under a new ticker symbol,” the sports betting giant said in a press release.
“The combination of DraftKings’ leading and trusted brand, deep focus on customer experience and data science expertise and SBTech’s highly innovative and proven technology platform creates a vertically-integrated powerhouse,” said Jason Robins co-founder and CEO of DraftKings. “I look forward to building significantly upon our goals of continuing our state-by-state rollout and creating the most entertaining and engaging customer experiences for sports fans globally.”
The new DraftKings will continue to be led by co-founder and CEO Jason Robins and will retain DraftKings’ highly experienced management team, including co-founders Paul Liberman and Matt Kalish. The SBTech management team who bring a wealth of international markets, trading and risk management experience will also be integrated into the organization.
Founded in 2011 by Jason Robins, Matt Kalish, and Paul Liberman, DraftKings provides online daily and weekly fantasy sports contests for cash prizes in major sports in the United States and Canada. It offers daily leagues for fantasy football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, college football, and college basketball.
Since inception in 2011, over 850 thousand DraftKings users have won money in paid contests. DraftKings has also paid out over $7 billion across all sports with over 20,000 public contests held per day. DraftKings has raised a total of $644.8M in funding over 8 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Oct 14, 2018 from a Series F round.