Founder Alán Jaime Misrahi grew up dedicated to soccer, finally taking part in in Mexico’s third division. Whereas he didn’t essentially make it to the “huge leagues” taking part in the game, his new firm Draftea goals to win over the 350 million sports activities followers in Latin America, Jaime Misrahi advised FiratNews in an interview.
Draftea, which calls itself the primary every day fantasy sports activities firm in Spanish-speaking Latin America, emerged from stealth mode right now on the heels of a $13.2 million fundraise led by Kaszek with participation from Sequoia, Bullpen, and Nigel Eccles, founder and former CEO of sports-betting big FanDuel. Eccles serves as chairman of the board at Draftea.
The funding marks Sequoia’s first in an organization headquartered in Mexico, half a 12 months after the enterprise capital agency introduced plans to double down on alternatives in Latin America.
Draftea’s app fees sports activities followers a payment to draft a lineup of gamers and compete to win every day money prizes. The platform, at present in non-public beta mode, will launch someday within the first quarter of this 12 months. It should first host Mexican fantasy soccer matches, although Jaime Misrahi mentioned the corporate goals to finally add choices till it hosts fantasy video games for “each single sport on this planet.”
“Whenever you consider a area the place soccer is sort of a faith, the place folks get collectively for actions which are associated to sports activities, the place stadiums are full, the place folks get pleasure from [sports] as a household custom, the place individuals are in a number of WhatsApp teams speaking about sports activities and fantasy – we wish to convey all that collectively,” Jaime Misrahi mentioned of Latin America.
Whereas sports activities betting platforms like Costa Rica’s Betcris are already well-liked within the area, Jaime Misrahi mentioned Draftea is relatively a “rather more social platform.” It additionally differentiates itself by providing every day video games and interactions, in distinction to the less-frequent video games hosted by seasonal fantasy platforms that are likely to mirror real-world sports activities schedules.
In addition to Jaime Misrahi, the core founding crew contains Alejandra Lascurain, former product head at Mexico’s largest neobank; Miguel Gutiérrez-Barquín, who beforehand led development at Rappi; Joe Cohen, Vercel’s former head of engineering; and Andreas Assad, who labored at EA Sports activities. Draftea has 34 workers in complete right now and plans to double in measurement over the following couple months throughout all key areas, Jaime Misrahi mentioned.
The crew is looking forward to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this November, anticipated to be this 12 months’s greatest reside sports activities occasion worldwide.
“Our purpose is to, by then, have a tremendous product, have launched in lots of nations in Latin America, and to have tons of, if not 1000’s or tens of millions, of customers engaged with our platform,” Jaime Misrahi mentioned.
Sequoia’s Konstantine Buhler met Jaime Misrahi by means of a mutual connection at Stanford, the place Jaime Misrahi accomplished his MBA final 12 months. Buhler led Sequoia’s funding in Draftea, partially as a result of he felt Jaime Misrahi exemplified “founder-market match” on account of his ardour for sports activities and expertise as an expert soccer participant, Buhler advised FiratNews in an electronic mail.
“All of it comes right down to buyer love,” Buhler wrote. “Draftea is a first-of-its-kind neighborhood for sports activities followers in LatAm the place they will turn out to be the protagonist of their favourite video games. We consider Alán and crew will rapidly seize the hearts of followers in Mexico then increase to different nations in time for the World Cup.”