Fantasy Labs, a daily fantasy sports analytics startup co-founded by a Colorado man who won millions of dollars playing in fantasy tournaments, has landed a big-time investor.
Mark Cuban, owner
of the Dallas Mavericks, a "Shark Tank" investor and founder of HDNet, has invested an undisclosed sum in the analytics platform.
Massachusetts-based Fantasy Labs was founded last year by Jonathan Bales and Peter Jennings, analysts for fantasy sports site DraftKings. Jennings, of Lone Tree, won more than $1 million in 2014 playing fantasy football.
Fantasy Labs provides high-end statistics and analytics for daily contests run by game sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel. Its app is available for iPhone and Android devices. The company has plans to expand into other areas such as competitive video game play known as e-sports.
Cuban told The Denver Post Thursday he was drawn to Fantasy Labs because he is a "big believer in analytics and data-driven business."
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association reports that 56.8 million people played daily fantasy sports last year. Cuban said he thinks the daily fantasy industry is "poised for huge growth."
"The explosive growth of fantasy sports, and its involvement with new categories of competition like e-sports, increase the need for high-end resources like the platform offered by Fantasy Labs," Cuban said in a release.
He told The Denver Post via e-mail that e-sports "are big and getting bigger by the day. The future is very bright."
This week, Forbes reported that video game publisher Activision purchased the e-sports organization Major League Gaming for $46 million with the hope of bringing e-sports to television channels. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said he wants "to build the ESPN of video games."
Online daily fantasy sports are under investigation in some states and have been banned as illegal gambling in New York, Illinois and Nevada. The attorney general of Pennsylvania is reviewing the legality of the contests.
On Wednesday, attorneys for DraftKings and FanDuel argued to a panel of California lawmakers that the online sports matchups are not gambling and are based on skill.
Cuban said he isn't concerned about the future of the industry despite the ongoing investigations.
"Grandstanding for public office doesn't have a long life span," he said via e-mail.