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Epoxy.ai, a Philadelphia tech start-up, aims to sync TV watching with sports betting


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Chris Reynolds and Jason Angelides developed the gizmo on the TV distant that introduced deep-dive sports activities stats—monitoring sport momentum and participant statistics—to thousands and thousands of Xfinity subscribers.

Now, lower than two years after leaving govt jobs at Comcast Corp., they need a bit of the web sports activities betting motion.

Reynolds and Angelides have launched a start-up, Epoxy.ai, in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, that goals to personalize the betting expertise for 75 million sports fans who consultants say may place greater than $20 billion a 12 months in wagers as extra states legalize on-line sports activities betting.

Epoxy’s first concept: to make use of the microphone on a mobile phone to find out what sport a sports activities fan is watching and to synchronize the sport on the tv with a really useful wager. Reynolds mentioned {that a} sports activities bettor would conform to the synchronization by means of the phrases of service of the corporate that licenses Epoxy’s expertise. Epoxy’s first buyer is betParx, which is a sister firm to Parx On line casino.

“Amazon, Instagram, Spotify, those businesses are built on knowing who you are, and putting the right things in front of you,” Angelides mentioned. “It’s an expectation and the sports media and gaming industry, while they recognize the need for that type of experience, they struggle to support that for a variety of reasons. One, because they’re extremely thinly spread technologically because they’re rolling out across states. Number two, they’re not technology companies.”

Too early for innovation?

In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court docket repealed the Skilled and Beginner Sports activities Safety Act, paving the best way for the gold rush of on-line sports activities betting. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and 21 different states have legalized on-line sports activities betting. Pennsylvania sports activities followers positioned greater than $6 billion in on-line wagers within the final 12 months.

Consultants imagine that the nationwide quantity of on-line sports activities betting, or the “handle,” will develop to $25 billion to $30 billion a 12 months as extra states legalize on-line sports activities wagering.

Chris Grove, a co-founding accomplice at Acies Investments, a enterprise fund for sports activities, playing and expertise start-ups in Las Vegas, known as Epoxy’s founders “very talented.”

Comcast buys OneTwoSee sports activities data service

However Grove believes that sports activities books have extra fast points to resolve earlier than they give thought to the innovation that Epoxy affords, together with launching sports activities books in new states, registering sports activities bettors extra effectively and dealing with deposits.

“It’s easy to be overly optimistic about the pace of innovation in regulated sports betting,” Grove mentioned. “It’s kind of like talking about putting solar panels on the roof before you put the roof on.”

Prepared for some soccer?

Greenwood Gaming and Leisure, which owns Parx On line casino in Bensalem, is taking an early run with Epoxy below the management of Matthew Cullen, who was employed 4 years in the past. He heads Greenwood’s 100-person digital playing operation that features overseeing the corporate’s on-line sports activities betting in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan. Cullen expects to develop sports activities betting to a further three states. Parx dealt with $147 million in on-line sports activities bets between final July and April, in keeping with figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Management Board.

“Personalization is the next big thing,” Cullen mentioned, as a result of “people are going to want to bet on what they bet in the past, or what they like, or what they like to watch.” However, Cullen added, echoing Grove, “it’s still early days.”

Cullen’s staff will measure whether or not Epoxy results in increased retention of bettors, impacts the sum of money a bettor bets, and results in increased engagement time on betParx.

The NFL soccer season drives tv gross sales and rankings and, figures point out, on-line sports activities betting. Pennsylvania on-line sports activities wagering jumped 65%, to $527 million, from August to September 2021, gaming board information present. September is the beginning of the NFL season. The month with the very best greenback quantity in on-line sports activities waging in Pennsylvania was January, the month of NFL playoffs, with $737 million in bets.

Cullen mentioned the plan was for the Epoxy app to launch on the betParx betting app for the NFL season.

Angelides mentioned Epoxy can be prepared. “It’s what we’re doing. Sports waits for no one. The game must go on.”

As as to whether sports activities bettors can be comfy with a cell phone microphone that listens to them, Angelides mentioned that Epoxy’s analysis reveals that greater than 90% of core and informal bettors report they “like it when the products they use tailor the content to them so it’s easier to find what they want and discover new things.”

From high-rise to start-up

Reynolds, 47, and Angelides, 54, have settled into post-Comcast life. On the media and telecom big, they labored out of the thirty seventh flooring of the expertise tower, Philadelphia’s tallest constructing.

Now, they hire the second flooring of a quaint workplace constructing on the eastbound aspect of SEPTA’s Berwyn prepare station. It is a straightforward commute for Epoxy’s workers who stay in Philadelphia. The beginning-up employs 12, principally a crew who adopted Reynolds and Angelides from Comcast. The agency additionally makes use of six contractors.

Angelides mentioned the plan over time is for 20 to 30 full-time workers.

Epoxy hopes to boost $7 million to $10 million in enterprise capital this summer time, and it has filed for patents on their expertise by means of Philadelphia legislation agency Morgan Lewis. The co-founders see Epoxy’s expertise as providing three providers: synchronization between the TV viewing and bets, visualization of sports activities information, and wager suggestions.

Angelides and Reynolds met within the Nineteen Nineties at Visitors.com in Chesterbrook, a real-time site visitors data service for radio and tv stations. Visitors.com, purchased by Nokia, took site visitors information from highway and freeway sensors and offered it to tv and radio stations. The enterprise taught Angelides and Reynolds the significance of packaging real-time data for audiences.

OneTwoSee

At Visitors.com, they considered different areas the place real-time data may very well be priceless. It was within the early days of cell phone apps. When the pair realized that sports activities followers had been all the time wanting up sports activities stats on their telephones, they developed a enterprise to entry and visualize box-score sports activities information in actual time. Followers may eat the info as they watched video games.

“The idea was that if you were a sports fan and you were sitting there and you were watching the game and a player comes up and you don’t know who he is or what his stats are. How many home runs he has? What’s going to happen next? What’s the most likely outcome? You got to go through looking through box scores? It was a nightmare,” Angelides mentioned.

In late 2011, Angelides and Reynolds launched OneTwoSee to offer sports activities information immediately. It was their first start-up. Over time, OneTwoSee developed the platform to show up-to-the-minute sports activities stats on cable tv and built-in the service into Comcast’s X1 platform. Comcast considered the sports activities information—accessed by means of a button on the TV distant—as a technique to make its enormous funding into sports activities rights extra participating for its subscribers. In 2016, Comcast purchased OneTwoSee for an undisclosed value.

Inside Comcast, the OneTwoSee staff caught collectively and helped to deepen the sports activities platform for the OIympic video games.

Reynolds and Angelides mentioned that they had an awesome expertise at Comcast and so they left on good phrases. However they had been stressed and considered on-line sports activities betting as the subsequent large factor.

Angelides gave discover to Comcast that he was leaving in November 2020. Reynolds did the identical in mid-2021. Of his resolution to depart Comcast, Reynolds mentioned that “once you start building stuff, it’s hard not to do it.”


Online bets on NFL games seen surging as season begins


2022 The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC.
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Epoxy.ai, a Philadelphia tech start-up, goals to sync TV watching with sports activities betting (2022, June 21)
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