FansUnite to sell Betting Hero to brand’s co-founders & GeoComply

Jai Maw and Jeremy Jakary will be majority owners

Vancouver-based sport and entertainment company FansUnite has announced it is selling its Betting Hero business to the brand’s co-owners and fellow Vancouver firm GeoComply.

Betting Hero was founded in 2018 by Jai Maw and Jeremy Jakary and has been owned and operated by FansUS, FansUnite’s wholly-owned subsidiary in the U.S. Now, in a deal worth an aggregate $51.3 million CAD, all of the issued and outstanding shares of FansUS will be sold. Maw and Jakary will jointly own 60% of the company and the other 40% will be held by geolocation compliance company GeoComply.

The deal will yield a net profit of $27.3 million CAD for FansUnite. The expected closing date is August 15, 2024.

“After a long and thorough strategic evaluation of our business, we’ve received a substantial cash offer for our primary remaining asset,” said FansUnite CEO Scott Burton in a statement. “It not only reflects high market multiples when compared to similar transactions but also a substantial premium to our current share price. After extensive deliberation with our board and advisors, we believe it’s in the best interest to recommend the sale and allow the shareholders to vote on a return of capital.”

FansUnite pointed to a favourable and above-market valuation as well as board and major investor support for the deal as rationale for the sale, which still requires formal approval from shareholders at their next meeting in August.

Canadian Gaming Business reached out to FansUnite for more information on the transaction.

Betting Hero posts strong growth

Betting Hero is active in more than 20 regulated gaming states south of the border. The brand announced in March that it had delivered its 500,000th bettor to the U.S. sports betting ecosystem, reaching the milestone on the back of its recent entry into North Carolina’s new regulated market.

FansUnite noted at its Q1 2024 earnings call last month that Betting Hero signing contracts with multiple U.S. sportsbooks over the last year had contributed to its year-over-year growth.

Burton told investors then that Betting Hero took $8.3 million in revenue in Q1 2024 compared to $7.3 million in Q1 2023 and that it “continues to be the premier live activation company in North America.” Betting Hero had grown to include not only its core activation business but also research and digital branches. He noted that Betting Hero is “well-positioned” to be in any new regulated markets from day one.

GeoComply said its investment will support the Betting Hero co-founders in operating and growing the business.

“Jai and Jeremy have built a tremendous business with a laser-like vision to support their customers’ mission for the best possible user experience through the sign-up process,” said Anna Sainsbury, GeoComply co-founder and CEO. “At GeoComply, we share that vision and are delighted, through this intended investment, to help Betting Hero further their efforts and deploy more resources and focus into serving our customers and their patrons throughout North America.”

FansUnite has history of recent sales

FansUnite has offloaded parts of its business in the past. In 2023, it sold both its Chameleon iGaming platform, which was acquired by Betr in what Burton called “a transformational transaction,” and Scotland-focused sportsbook and online casino McBookie.

Burton said last summer after those deals that the sales would enable the firm to focus more on growing business segments that produce significant cash flow. He said driving Betting Hero was a primary goal in scaling FansUnite’s affiliate business segment.

FansUnite’s subsidiary American Affiliate launched as a North American omni-channel customer acquisition company, covering both retail and digital customer activation for sportsbooks, casinos, poker and fantasy sports platforms. With the sale of Betting Hero, it has just one property left in its portfolio,

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