Founder Alán Jaime Misrahi grew up dedicated to soccer, finally taking part in in Mexico’s third division. While he didn’t essentially make it to the “big leagues” taking part in the game, his new firm Draftea goals to win over the 350 million sports followers in Latin America, Jaime Misrahi instructed TechCrunch in an interview.
Draftea, which calls itself the primary each day fantasy sports firm in Spanish-speaking Latin America, emerged from stealth mode right now on the heels of a $13.2 million fundraise led by Kaszek with participation from Sequoia, Bullpen, and Nigel Eccles, founder and former CEO of sports-betting big FanDuel. Eccles serves as chairman of the board at Draftea.
The funding marks Sequoia’s first in an organization headquartered in Mexico, half a 12 months after the enterprise capital agency announced plans to double down on alternatives in Latin America.
Draftea’s app prices sports followers a price to draft a lineup of gamers and compete to win each day money prizes. The platform, at present in personal beta mode, will launch someday within the first quarter of this 12 months. It will first host Mexican fantasy soccer matches, although Jaime Misrahi mentioned the corporate goals to finally add choices till it hosts fantasy video games for “every single sport in the world.”
“When you think of a region where soccer is almost a religion, where people get together for activities that are related to sports, where stadiums are full, where people enjoy [sports] as a family tradition, where people are in several WhatsApp groups talking about sports and fantasy – we want to bring all that together,” Jaime Misrahi mentioned of Latin America.
While sports betting platforms like Costa Rica’s Betcris are already standard within the area, Jaime Misrahi mentioned Draftea is relatively a “much more social platform.” It additionally differentiates itself by providing each day video games and interactions, in distinction to the less-frequent video games hosted by seasonal fantasy platforms that are inclined to mirror real-world sports schedules.
Besides Jaime Misrahi, the core founding workforce consists of Alejandra Lascurain, former product head at Mexico’s largest neobank; Miguel Gutiérrez-Barquín, who beforehand led progress at Rappi; Joe Cohen, Vercel’s former head of engineering; and Andreas Assad, who labored at EA Sports. Draftea has 34 workers in whole right now and plans to double in measurement over the following couple months throughout all key areas, Jaime Misrahi mentioned.
The workforce is waiting for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this November, anticipated to be this 12 months’s greatest dwell sports occasion worldwide.
“Our goal is to, by then, have an amazing product, have launched in many countries in Latin America, and to have hundreds, if not thousands or millions, of users engaged with our platform,” Jaime Misrahi mentioned.
Sequoia’s Konstantine Buhler met Jaime Misrahi via a mutual connection at Stanford, the place Jaime Misrahi accomplished his MBA final 12 months. Buhler led Sequoia’s funding in Draftea, partly as a result of he felt Jaime Misrahi exemplified “founder-market fit” as a consequence of his ardour for sports and expertise as knowledgeable soccer participant, Buhler instructed TechCrunch in an e mail.
“It all comes down to customer love,” Buhler wrote. “Draftea is a first-of-its-kind community for sports fans in LatAm where they can become the protagonist in their favorite games. We believe Alán and team will quickly capture the hearts of fans in Mexico then expand to other countries in time for the World Cup.”