Fantasy sports app Underdog Fantasy has raised $10 million from a group of investors that includes Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, Rappers Nas and Future and Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Underdog Fantasy was founded by Jeremy Levine and launched last year out of a Brooklyn apartment by a group of executives previously behind Draft, the fantasy upstart purchased by Paddy Power and later merged with FanDuel. Their goal was to create a fantasy platform that was simpler to understand and more social-media-friendly, and Underdog has leaned on popular investors and internet influencers to grow its brand.
Once an extremely popular industry for start-ups, fantasy sports went through a stretch where FanDuel and DraftKings were too large and too wealthy to challenge. Now that those companies are spending (and focusing) more and more on sports betting, it has opened the door for new fantasy companies to innovate and gain traction. That new class, which includes Underdog, has largely focused on less time-consuming versions of fantasy sports, including pick ’em pools, head-to-head matchups and season-long games that require no roster maintenance.