New York Sports Betting Startup SimpleBet Lays Off Two Dozen Data Scientists

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New York sports betting startup SimpleBet has let go of 24 data scientists as part of an effort to become a “leaner” organization.

The staff was let go last Friday, along with the firm’s executive VP of data science Varun Sriram also resigning.

Firing 25 staff in one go would have invoked New York’s mini-WARN law concerning mass layoffs, and required SimpleBet to give the staff 60 days’ notice or 60 days’ pay.

The 24 figure also marks around two-thirds of the firm’s data scientists, Legal Sports Report understands.

What is SimpleBet?

SimpleBet was founded in 2017 and is based in Manhattan.

The company has pledged to build an entirely automated algorithmic pricing and trading platform for the sports betting industry but has yet to announce any partners or the launch of the product.

The startup has raised at least $23 million in funding but has a significant burn rate. That’s thanks to high-profile hires from the tech world, and the betting and gaming industry.

The firm had a full list of employees on its website until Friday, with data scientists hired from the likes of Microsoft and Samsung.

The company has seen significant turnover among staff over the past year. Chief revenue officer Stephen Master and chief technology officer Robert Simmons also departing.

What SimpleBet said about the layoffs

SimpleBet co-founder and CEO Chris Bevilacqua said, in a statement provided to Legal Sports Report, the layoffs were designed to create a “leaner, more focused and efficient organization.

“We are grateful for the efforts and contributions of each of the employees impacted and wish them the best going forward,” Bevilacqua said.

“We are very confident with the team we now have in place, and we are excited to bring our new and innovative products into the marketplace.”

Bevilacqua is one of three SimpleBet co-founders, along with Scott Marshall and Joey Levy. Levy previously co-founded daily fantasy sports startup DraftPot after securing a Thiel Fellowship of $100,000 to help students pursue business ventures.