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Betmate secures funding through the LCR Angel Network

Betmate, a social gaming platform allowing users to play against one another, has received a six-figure investment, including funds from a syndicate of angel investors introduced by the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Angel Network.

With traditional gambling, “the house always wins”. Betmate, founded by Ryan Lawrence, Declan Dowling and Dan Leaper in August 2020, is looking to change that. Betmate features an innovative way to bet, where you play against other people rather than the bookmaker.

A desire to create a more engaging and ethical online gaming platform is what drove Ryan, Declan and Dan to found Betmate. They spent the first few months engaging with potential users, conducting user interviews, discovering their frustrations, and ultimately deciding on what the first social betting game was going to be.

Betmate’s first product will be based on the already popular fantasy football format and introduce a simplified more engaging user experience that allows consumers to back themselves and play for money in daily and weekly pool betting competitions. The game has been developed over the past year, tested during Euro 2020, and will be released to the public in time for the 2021 Premier League season.

The three founders decided to pitch at one of the LCR Angel Network digital events earlier in 2021 in the hope of securing capital to launch their business. Through the introduction to the network of Angel Investors, Betmate was able to fill their pre-seed investment round, which has now allowed them to expand the team and further develop the platform.

Betmate co-founders Ryan Lawrence, Declan Dowling and Dan Leaper said: “This investment will allow us to launch our Fantasy Football game in time for the new Premier League season. It enables us to continuously improve the product and identify our key metrics before looking to raise our seed round.

Covid made it difficult for us to get in front of investors. The virtual LCR pitch event removed this barrier and was a great experience for us. Our pitch resulted in us securing investment from some of the angels present. Having these angels on board helped us massively when pitching and raising venture capital funds.”

Clare Brookfield, Business Development Manager at LCR Angel Network co-founder MSIF’s wholly-owned subsidiary AFM added: “We are thrilled to have successfully introduced another business to our network of angels, allowing Betmate to obtain early-stage investment. Throughout the pandemic, we have had to overhaul our approach to pitch events to help accommodate covid guidelines, whilst still providing the opportunity to bring some much-needed seed funding into the region.

Hosting our events as part of a digital series has been a great way to still deliver our impact to those growing SMEs who need it most, as well as expanding our network of angels, with investors now joining from across the UK. With that being said, we are excited to bring back our in-person events in autumn 2021, with the hope to support more local business across the LCR.”

Mark Rathbone, a partner at Brabners, a co-founder of the LCR Angel Network, said: “Betmate is exactly the sort of innovate venture the angel network was established to support. Coming from a law firm with considerable expertise in technology and sport, it was easy to see the potential for this product – as well as the amount of research that had been undertaken for its creation. I wish the Betmate trio every success as they take their next entrepreneurial steps.”

Marc d’Abbadie, Head of Equity at LCR Angel Network co-founder MSIF’s wholly-owned subsidiary AFM, commented: “Betmate are passionate and driven, and have an ethical approach to gaming – which is refreshing to see. I wish them the best of luck with the growth of their business. It’s very encouraging to see an increase in momentum for businesses receiving angel investment following our networking pitch events. Long may this trend continue!”