On the up · 6 January 2016

WantMyBet: The social network harnessing football betting

 

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WantMyBet: A social network for football betting

WantMyBet is a social network that enables people to search and discover the latest football bets from tipsters around the world. Launched in November last year, the site allows users of any experience to share tips and create bets.

Born out of an idea shared between three digitally-oriented university mates, the WantMyBet website has so far garnered over 50,000 views and was trending on Twitter within a few hours of being launched. Business Advice spoke with co-founder Olly Joshi to find out more.

(1) Who are you and what is your business?

I’m Olly, and I’m one of the founders of WantMyBet – an innovative social network that allows users to search and discover the latest football bets from tipsters all over the world.

(2) What inspired you to create WantMyBet?

The idea came to us – myself and my friends Tom and Will – when we were studying at Bournemouth university. We are all big football fans and used to bet every weekend. We used to continually talk about tips and we quickly realised that everyone wanted to prove their’s was the best. There’s a social kudos behind having the best tips. But most people find it difficult to trust the credibility of tips – how do you know if the source is legitimate?

That’s when we had the idea for WantMyBet. We spotted a gap in the market for a credible platform that could harness the online football betting community. We pitched the idea to a digital agency called Collective, which liked it, and it agreed to let us develop it for an equity share.

(3) Explain how the service works. What do you offer users that other similar sites can’t?

We are essentially a social network for football betting, which is something the market hasn’t seen so far. The website is built to be accessible to people who don’t normally bet. We want to make it simple for users, and therefore don’t use intimidating language that not everyone will understand – we have a glossary of betting-specific terms for first timers.

Users can post and share tips and place bets, all in one location. We do not have a betting license but we’ve integrated with other sites so that users can place bet through us. Our partners include Ladbrokes, William Hill and Boyle Sports. We compare the odds on bets across our partners’ sites and offer users the chance to bet, acting as the middle man.

(4) How’s the website been received so far?

Having spent several years building WantMyBet, we officially launched the site on 20 November last year. After several hours we were trending on Twitter in the UK and our promotional video has received close to a million views on YouTube. To date, we have seen over 50,000 page views on the site, with around 8,000 user registrations.

(5) How’ve you managed to raise funds for WantMyBet?

At the first stage, we conducted a seed round and attracted six private individuals – all friends or friends of friends – to invest in us. We recently opened up the second round, and that has again been a case of networking and introducing the concept to investors we meet. The most high profile investor we have had is Elliot Gleave – better known as the singer Example – who has proved a big help in getting our name out there.

(6) What’s the plan for the year ahead?

We have a backlog of new features that we want to add to the site to make it user-friendly. Over the coming year, we are looking to receive as much feedback from users as possible about their experience with the site, so that we can add the features that will make a difference. We are constantly innovating and testing new tools.

The 2016 UEFA European Championships are coming up, and we hope to boost our profile. Over the next few years we will look to enter new markets – looking at betting in various other sports including horse racing, golf and tennis. As our online community of users grows, we are looking to grow our offering.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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