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The iGaming industry is crying out for disruption and innovation. Start-up Stories is your new guide to the potential game-changers of online gambling.

We ask the key questions to provide investors and industry professionals with crucial insight into the new ventures seeking to redefine the digital entertainment space.

Splash Sports is the next business to go under the microscope:

What?

Splash is a sports gaming platform for peer-to-peer contests.

Splash Inc. was established in 2021 through the acquisitions of RunYourPool and OfficeFootballPool, and in 2023 Splash Sports was launched as a peer-to-peer real-money gaming platform built for friends and groups to compete in games of skill.

With more than 2.3 million active players across the platform, Splash is one of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the space, and its unique group contest format leads to high customer engagement and retention, according to the company.

Splash counts traditional sportsbooks and fantasy sports apps as its key competition, but is seeking to operate in a different ecosystem.

YouTube, TikTok and other social platforms are also viewed as competitors because Splash is home to sports analysts, podcasters, fan clubs, Twitch streamers and content companies.

How?

Contest organisers, AKA commissioners, use Splash to organise games that include Tiers, PickX and Survivor.

These commissioners invite players to compete, and Splash handles the entry fees and payouts.

Unlike a traditional sportsbook, Splash doesn’t offer games against the house and has no stake in the outcome of the games. Instead, its peer-to-peer platform is designed to promote the community aspect of sports gaming.

Who?

Serial entrepreneur Joel Milton is the co-CEO of Splash Inc. and co-founder of Splash Sports.

Prior to Splash, Milton was the co-founder and CEO of Baker Technologies, which became the cannabis industry’s leading CRM platform.

TJ Ross is also the co-CEO of Splash Inc. and co-founder of Splash Sports as Milton’s business partner. His entrepreneurial spirit started early by selling t-shirts while at USC.

Ross began a career in investment banking but left banking to become the founder and CEO of 43Layers, an online custom design marketplace funded by 500 Startups.

Following 43Layers, Ross led strategic partnerships for STRV, a design and engineering firm for mobile and web applications, which he did until co-founding Splash.

The company also counts ex-DraftKings Mark DiAntonio as CTO and former PointsBet exec Kyle Christensen as CMO.

When?

Over the next 12-24 months, Splash will focus on product improvements.

In the first few weeks of launch, more than half of the handle came from private commissioners, and the start-up’s goal is to continue to build products to service these so-called “power users”.

The next intention is to add more sports and game types to the app.

Where?

Splash is aiming to become the largest peer-to-peer competition marketplace in the US. It is currently available in 39 states and “coming soon” to a further five.

Why?

Sports gaming has swept across the US since its legalisation, but Splash believes that few platforms have been able to capitalise on the engaging social aspect that fantasy gamers enjoy.

Splash places a premium on supporting contest organisers and community gaming, as opposed to other sportsbook-type platforms that pit players against house odds.

The start-up believes that users want to play with each other, and not against the house – as they ultimately want to use gaming as a way to connect through friendly competition.

This style of peer-to-peer sports gaming also offers ex-athletes, media personalities and team specific micro-influencers an opportunity to engage and monetise their fanbases.

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