FanDuel is growing once again, announcing plans to open an office in Glasgow that appears set to double the size of the company in terms of staffing and that also signals huge changes are afoot at the daily fantasy sports site.
According to a recent report in The Herald in Scotland, FanDuel says it plans to staff the new office with over 200 development specialists. If all the hires are new ones, this would nearly double FanDuel’s staff internationally; the Herald reported that the company currently employs 230 in the U.S. and the U.K.
“We are very pleased to have found a home in Glasgow,” FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles told the Herald.
FanDuel, twice as big as DraftKings in staff?
The sheer number of workers the company plans to bring on represents the company’s rapid expansion in a tangible way. FanDuel has already added about a hundred jobs between its U.S. and U.K. offices in 2015 alone.
FanDuel’s new Glasgow office and hiring push is the latest in a series of maneuvers for the company as it seeks to hold off DraftKings for market dominance, after a start to 2015 that has seen its rival pull ahead — at least in the non-football portion of the year.
In comparison, according to a report in June, DraftKings’ staff was approaching 200, most located in its Boston headquarters. Another report hinted that DraftKings could expand to a staff of 300 in the near future, however.
At the same time as its expansion, FanDuel has been engaged in a high-profile sponsorship arms race with DraftKings. The site has recently locked up deals with about half of the teams in the NFL and the NBA.
It is possible, too, that FanDuel’s expansion could signal a fresh round of investment funding, as a new office and 200 developers is a move made with an eye toward the future.
FanDuel’s aggressive push
FanDuel recently capitalized on the woes of social-media gaming giant Zynga, hiring 38 employees from the company’s recently-shuttered Sports 365 division in Orlando, while taking over its office in the Florida city. That acquisition also brought with it a lot of development talent.
FanDuel’s meteoric rise — a representative said the company has grown at a rate of 300 percent per year — represents a broader picture in which daily fantasy sports has seen exponential growth. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the number of total fantasy sports players has nearly tripled to 56.8 million since 2009, with DFS responsible for some of that growth.
What are all the developers for?
The added emphasis on manpower and software development clearly means FanDuel has big plans down the road, although right now, how they will be deployed is speculation. At a minimum, one would have to guess we will eventually see a revamp of the entire base platform and improvement in its mobile offerings.
The move might also signal a corresponding expansion of options for FanDuel players, as the DFS site could be looking to venture into other types of contest offerings.
A number of daily fantasy sites — like Draft, SportsLock, DraftDay and DailyMVP, to name a few — have worked with models diverging from the traditional salary cap approach. Draft Ops, which is also planning on trying to go beyond traditional DFS formats, made a big splash last week with a sponsorship deal with Barclays Center in New York City.
Adding tech jobs in a tech-rich city
Notable, too, is that FanDuel is looking to hire specifically in the software engineering space. The company is seeking engineers skilled in the Java and Python programming languages. Expansion into Glasgow, Scotland’s most populous city and a renowned tech industry hub, will allow for front-line access to a large pool of U.K. development talent.
“We know most Glasgow-based engineers have no wish to relocate, so it makes perfect sense for us to open an office here,” Eccles told The Herald.
Photo by John Lindie used under license CC BY 2.0.