Sports Technology Company TAPPP Raises $10 Million Series B Round, Launching Live Betting Service With Major League Rugby

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Sports tech company TAPPP has raised $10 million in Series B funding rounds.

The New York-headquartered company was founded in 2012 and focused on developing prepaid cards to access live and archived sports events with Major League Baseball and National Football League contracts. But TAPPP has recently expanded and built the technology and infrastructure to allow viewers to bet on sports events on broadcast and television platforms.

TAPPP plans to launch its first in-game betting product soon. The company has partnered with Major League Rugby to allow fans to bet on games streamed on the rugby network's streaming platform. TAPPP and Major League Rugby are working together to play for free in all 50 states from April 9th.

Live betting will initially only be available to New Jersey residents who place bets on PlayUp Sportsbook. Rugby Network fans will see an incentive to see if they want to bet on the outcome of the match, how many points will be scored and other bets. They can then click on the track, view the in-game interactive bulletin board, and place a bet if they are linked to their PlayUp account.

Sandy Agarwal, founder and CEO of TAPPP, said the company has obtained a vendor license to do business with licensed sportsbooks in 15 states. TAPPP hopes to introduce major league rugby betting to other states later this year, as well as working with more professional bookmakers and professional sports leagues in the coming years.

“When you take a page from TV, we always have an experimental market to make sure everything works before we do it,” Agarwal said.

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The Series B round was co-led by Acamplus, a Boston-based venture capital firm, and Verans Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm. Ryan Moore, co-founder of Acomplis and board member of Draftkings, previously invested in LandMate, a mobile app developer that Agarwal founded in 2001 and then sold to Nokia.

Several professional sports team owners, including Steven Paluka of the Boston Celtics and Peter Tomozawa of the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Sounders, have invested in the B-Series. TAPPP has raised over $21 million. The company did not disclose its valuation after the latest funding round.

“As betting and fan engagement have become ubiquitous across all platforms, TAPPP is well positioned to facilitate this seamless integration,” Lyle Ayes, founder and CEO of Verance Capital, said in a statement. "We look forward to supporting them in their next phase of growth."

Agarwal founded TAPPP in 2012 when he was in Singapore and was having trouble accessing a Cleveland Browns game on TV. The company developed prepaid card technology for the NFL Game Pass service, where fans can watch off-market preseason games and access live audio, as well as regular season and postseason games. TAPPP also created prepaid cards for the MLB.TV service, where fans can stream non-market Major League Baseball games.

In 2018, the Supreme Court overturned a law banning commercial sports betting in most states shortly after the TAPPP series raised A$5. This decision paved the way for legal betting and convinced Agarwal to see how TAPPP could expand into the sports betting industry.

Last year, TAPPP partnered with BetMGM to make BetMGM gift certificates available to retailers across the US. Customers who have purchased a gift voucher can sign up and/or register with BetMGM Sportsbook and wager using the funds. Gift certificates are available at over 6,000 retailers in eight states, including Dollar General and 7-Eleven.

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TAPPP currently has 20 employees and plans to hire 25 more in the fall. In February, he appointed Willie Barhart as chief operating officer. Burkhardt previously worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Co., as well as head of international business development at Turner Entertainment and executive vice president of ESPN International.

Agarwal said that TAPPP has been developing technologies and APIs for gambling products for the past 18 months. He added that the company has its own technologies and platforms, which, according to him, are constantly changing with flaws and this is complicated by the fact that the betting market is highly regulated.

“Our model is that (sports organizations and bookmakers) do not pay us and then we will never see you again, and here is the platform,” Agarwal said. “Our model is that we are very close to them. As you can imagine, we can make the experience a lot more compelling when we start talking to consumers. It's about interacting with a client or audience. It will be a long journey."

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