App allows fans across 37 states to easily and legally wager money between friends, rather than with casinos or sportsbooks
Lucra Sports, a peer-to-peer sports gaming platform, today announced a $10 million Series A investment led by Raptor Group, including participation from SeventySix Capital and Victress Capital. Individual investors Milwaukee Bucks owner and Avenue Capital founder Marc Lasry, professional tennis player John Isner, and NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders also participated in the funding round. Lucra Sports makes social-first wagering possible, allowing fans to legally wager across 37 states with their friends in a safe and fun environment – with no traditional sportsbooks involved.
The sports betting industry is growing fast, garnering over $131.1 billion in revenue in 2020 and is slated to deliver revenue of approximately $179.3 billion by 2028 (Zion Market Research). The Lucra iOS app offers a new form of social engagement to avid sports fans and makes sports wagering more approachable for more casual fans with its peer-to-peer gaming marketplace.
Players compete against each other instead of casinos or traditional sportsbooks and can wager any dollar amount in highly customizable skill-based contests. Lucra spent 18 months building a legal framework inclusive of banking, payment processing, compliance, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations across 37 states for sports wagering before launching in October 2021.
“The magic of Lucra is that it amplifies moments around live sports and allows you to connect with other sports fans through friendly competition,” said Lucra Sports Founder and CEO, Dylan Robbins. “We are focused on approachability, removing complex jargon and simplifying the wagering experience to allow sports fans to interact with their friends. Passion-filled banter and social interaction are at the core of Lucra and allow for a lighthearted and fun approach to real-money wagering.”
“We believe Lucra is changing the way sports fans engage with each other by bringing a social-first gaming experience to everyone, whether they’re in the stadium, sat in a bar or watching games at home,” said Raptor Group’s Anthony DiSanti, a newly appointed Board Member of Lucra. “Dylan and the Lucra team have the vision, experience and strategy to totally disrupt the in-game sports wagering category. Their focus on compliance and security first, followed by the user experience, has enabled them to create a marketplace well positioned to attract a wide audience, and keep fans consistently engaged over time.”
In Fall 2021, Lucra launched an iOS app offering legal head-to-head wagering, extending across state lines, for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, golf (PGA TOUR), tennis (WTA and ATP), and soccer (MLS, UEFA Champions League, Premier League). The technology is also applicable for eSports (League of Legends, Counterstrike) and eSports wagering will be added to the community in Summer 2022.
How Lucra Works
Fans can create their own contests or use recommended match-ups provided by Lucra. The fan uses their skill to control the details, create their own terms – odds and spreads – and select which sport, player, stat, and dollar amount to wager. The platform encourages creativity: players can be within the same or different sport, stats can vary or users can create match-ups that align with their fantasy team rosters. For example, users can wager across sports such as whether tennis star Serena Williams will have more aces in a match than NBA sharpshooter Steph Curry will make three-pointers in a game.
Lucra community members can invite friends to join to receive sign-up incentives. These users can then create customized groups to challenge one another, keeping a running tally of head-to-head contest stats with group leaderboards.
Nearly 87% of users were referred by other Lucra community members. The community-based platform has lower acquisition costs and higher referral rates than other wagering platforms. There is no house margin, the company simply charges a 5% fee from only the winner’s payout (no more paying a fee when you lose).
Seed investors Olympian soccer player Julie Ertz and NFL player Zach Ertz serve as Lucra advisors alongside the King Philanthropies Professor of Marketing at the Stanford School of Business Jonathan Levav, Co-founder of Toy Ventures Ramnik Arora and Co-chairman of Mandalay Sports Media Mike Tollin, and Milwaukee Bucks owner and Avenue Capital founder Marc Lasry. Lucra has more than 50 brand ambassadors building awareness and will use the new capital on product development, customer acquisition and to further expand its employee base.