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Brazilian startup Rei do Pitaco raises US$32m to fund fantasy sports expansion

Investors believe daily fantasy games can provide a foundation for legal sports betting in the future.

25 Jan 2022 Steve McCaskill

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  • Series A round led by D1 Capital Partners
  • Rei do Pitaco raised US$6m in seed funding last year
  • Funding will see company, which has more than 75 employees and 1.5m customers, expand by 400%

Daily fantasy sports platform Rei do Pitaco has raised US$32 million in what it claims is the largest single funding round for a sports technology company in Brazil.

The Series A round was led by D1 Capital Partners, which is also an investor in Wise and Unity, and co-led by Kaszek, Bullpen Capital, and Left Lane, and saw the involvement of partners from DST Global and Globo Ventures.

When combined with the US$6 million raised in a seed round last year, the company has now been funded to the tune of US$38 million.

Like other fantasy sports games, Rei do Pitaco lets players draft teams from professional soccer leagues and awards them points based on player performances in real life games. Players can play for free or can pay to enter competitions in the hope of winning cash rewards.

The format is hugely popular across multiple sports in the US, where daily fantasy games preceded the legalisation of sports betting in certain states, and where services such as FanDuel and DraftKings are valued by rights holders because they drive engagement.

The hope is that that this model can be replicated in Brazil, where sports betting is still illegal. One of the new investors, Bullpen Capital, invested in FanDuel back in 2012. The suggestion is that betting could be legalised in the near future and that first mover advantage could be crucial.

Rei do Pitaco positions itself as the leading daily fantasy sports game in Latin America with more than 1.5 million players, and now employs more than 75 people. It plans to use its capital to acquire new engineering talent, improve its product, and expand its customer base ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. Indeed, Rei do Pitaco intends to expand by four times the size it is now in the near future.

“This round is a very important step in our history. In addition to being a huge validation of the incredible work that our team has been doing over the last few months, it also represents the entry of important strategic partners, which, along with the capital injection, helps the brand to establish itself increasingly more as the leading company for sports entertainment in Latin America,” said Rei do Pitaco chief executive Mateus Dantas.

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