Daily Fantasy Operator Oulala Nets More Funding To Develop European Market

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DFS for soccer

Daily fantasy sports operator Oulala has managed to raise an extra €1.35 million ($1.44 million) from private investors.

The company plans to use the extra funding to gain “more traction on the B2B landscape, and to confirm its leading position as the first DFS network specialized in European football.”

While US DFS is experiencing regulatory difficulties, Oulala sees Europe as a growth opportunity.

Managing Director Benjamin Carlotti reported:

”The DFS market is currently experiencing a consistent and rapid growth in Europe, which was confirmed by the strong interest from investors during this latest funding round.”

Oulala has also appointed two new executives in order to implement plans to expand its network with iGaming operators. The company expects to announce new partnerships in Q1 of 2017.

DFS optimism in Europe but conflicting strategies

At this year’s SBC Awards ceremony, Oulala won the award for ‘Best Fantasy Sports Product.’ In doing so it beat Sportito, which was also nominated, and which was one of the sponsors of the awards.

Sportito decided to launch its DFS product in the UK rather than its home market of Italy. Sportito has Italian gaming licenses for some of its business, but gaining a UK license for the DFS market entry appeared to be a better option for them.

Interestingly, Oulala appears to have more confidence about operating in the soccer-obsessed Italian jurisdiction.

In August it announced a deal with Game Interaction Group Ltd (GIG). The plan was to introduce its daily fantasy sports model to the Italian regulated market.

Focus on big data and soccer

The European DFS market is all about soccer. Other sports are available, but soccer is far and away the most popular sport for DFS enthusiasts.

Oulala is a French company based in Malta, so it understands the popularity of soccer. Its big data approach allows players to analyze over 70 different criteria in selecting players for their teams, and its “live coaching” feature enables real time changes to fantasy lineups.

Oulala says that the approach means that their DFS implementation is the “first fantasy football game to be a true skill game.”

Other DFS operators claim that their games are also a matter of skill rather than chance, so the Oulala claim is more a question of degree than a claim that other DFS games don’t require skill at all.

With a distinctive product, regulatory approval from the UK and Italy, and the new round of investment, Oulala hopes that 2017 will be its breakthrough year.

Benjamin Carlotti said: ”We are very confident that DFS is poised for a solid growth next year. 2017 will be the year of Oulala.”

Others in the European space

Another daily fantasy soccer site, Mondogoal, recently shut down its consumer-facing product to focus on a B2B strategy. A start-up called Global Daily Fantasy Sports partnered with NYX to offer its DFS platform to sportsbook operators.

US DFS giants DraftKings and FanDuel both launched in the UK this year; the former said it has plans to expand international recently.