FanDuel founder and Sequoia bet on Spanish-language fantasy sports app Draftea – TechCrunch

Founder Alán Jaime Misrahi grew up and devoted himself to football, eventually playing in Mexico’s Third Division. While he doesn’t necessarily make it to the “big leagues” playing the sport, his new company Draftea aims to win over 350 million sports fans in Latin America, Jaime Merrachi told TechCrunch in an interview.

Draftea, which calls itself the first daily fantasy sports company in Spanish-speaking Latin America, has emerged from stealth mode today in the wake of a $13.2 million fundraising led by Kaszek with participation from Sequoia, Bullpen and Nigel Eccles, founder and former CEO of the betting giant. Sports FanDuel. Eccles is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Draftea.

Represents Sequoia’s first investment in a Mexico-based company, half a year after the venture capital firm Announce plans To multiply opportunities in Latin America.

Draftea charges sports fans to craft a lineup of players and compete to win daily cash prizes. The platform, which is currently in private beta, will launch sometime in the first quarter of this year. It will first host Mexican fantasy football matches, though Jaime Misrahi said the company eventually aims to add shows so it hosts fantasy games for “every sport in the world”.

Different screens on the Draftea app. Image credits: Draft

“When you think of an area where football is almost a religion, where people come together to do activities related to sports, where stadiums are full, where people have fun [sports] As a family tradition, where people are in many WhatsApp groups talking about sports and fantasy – we want to bring it all together,” Jaime Mesrachi said of Latin America.

While sports betting platforms Like Betcris in Costa Rica Already very popular in the region, Jaime Mesrachi said the Mesrachi project is relatively “a much more social platform”. It also differentiates itself by offering daily games and interactions, as opposed to less frequent games hosted by seasonal fantasy platforms which tend to mirror real-world sports schedules.

Besides Jaime Masrrahi, the core founding team includes Alejandra Lacorin, former chief product officer at Mexico’s largest new bank. Miguel Gutierrez Barquin, who previously led growth at Rappi; Joe Cohen, former head of engineering for Versell; and Andreas Asaad, who worked at EA Sports. Jaime Marrahi said Dravia has 34 employees in total today and plans to double its size over the next two months in all key areas.

Founder and CEO of Draftea, Alain Jaime Egypt

Founder and CEO of Draftea, Alain Jaime Egypt. Image credits: Draft

The team is looking forward to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next November, which is expected to be the biggest live sporting event of the year worldwide.

“Our goal, by then, is to have a great product, launched in many countries in Latin America, and to have hundreds, if not thousands or millions, of users engaged on our platform,” said Jaime Merrachi.

Konstantin Poehler of Sequoia met Jaime Masrahi through a liaison at Stanford, where Jaime Masrahi completed his MBA last year. Buhler led Sequoia’s investment in Draftea, in part because he felt Jaime Misrahi represented the “founding market fit” given his passion for the sport and experience as a professional soccer player, Buhler told TechCrunch in an email.

“It all comes down to customer love,” Buehler wrote. “Draftia is the first ever community for sports fans in Latin America where they can become the protagonist of their favorite games. We believe that Alan and his team will quickly capture the hearts of fans in Mexico and then expand to other countries in time for the World Cup.”

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