Everyone knows those sports nerds who can tell you the birthdays of the whole entire Mets bench, and while you can gain a lot talking to these people you prefer to follow teams instead of the thousands of players out there. So why not try the daily fantasy model optimized for this? Easy Streak, the daily fantasy sports platform where you bet on teams and not players is just as competitive as well as includes checks-and-balances to make sure people don’t take advantage of loopholes present in other DFS platforms.
Today we sit down with with CEO and cofounder Matt Williams about what inspired Easy Streak as well as where is plans to go in the near future.
Tell us about the product or service.
Easy Streak hosts sweepstakes sports contests where fans pick teams not fantasy players for cash prizes. Cash prizes are paid out by winning daily contests and monthly by climbing the leaderboard collecting points from winning contests, inviting friends, logging in daily. All you have to do is join a contest, pick the winner of each game, and claim your prize.
How is it different?
User Experience Differences:
All of our contests are easy to enter and easy to play. On average fantasy sports players can do up to 10 hours of research a week to be competitive, since our contests are based on picking teams not players it requires a significantly less amount of research to play opening up our contests to a larger market than just hard core sports fans.
Along with this theme of easy to play contests, we have a simple platform that is easy to learn and use. We aim to make the experience Fun, Addicting, and Easy to play.
We limit the amount of contests people can enter through tokens where the Max tokens a fan can receive is 10 per week. This levels the playing field so people don’t have to worry about the common issue in Pay-to-Play models where individuals with large bank rolls enter multiple times tipping the odds. Every fan can only enter a contest once as well.
We have “gamified” our games. We assign points to our fans for every pick they get correct in contests, finishing in the top 3, sharing with friends, logging in consecutive days, and other tasks accumulating points throughout the month. These points show on a leaderboard where the fans with the top amount of points every month get a part of the current month Grand Prize. There are more ways to win on our platform than the big DFS sites.
Not only do our Fans have a chance to win monthly on a leaderboard but because we are governed by sweepstakes rules (not by the UIGEA law discussed below) we are able to escalate our cash prizes based on the number of entrants in our contests.
We operate in the Daily Sports Contest space where Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) has received a lot of attention with the debate being carried out regarding if it is legal based on if DFS contests are predominately skill or chance. In order to be considered gambling there must be 3 elements:
- Consideration (or entry fee)
- The outcome is predominately determined by chance not skill
- There is a prize
In order to not be considered gambling a business needs to prove you don’t have all 3 elements present. DFS businesses argues their contests are predominately skill not chance and so should not be considered gambling which is being debated state-by-state currently. From this debate, DFS is legal currently in only 40 states where Easy Streak operates in all 50 states. We are able to be in all states because we are structured under sweepstakes rules that remove the element of consideration by hosting contests that are “No Purchase Necessary” along with other sweepstakes elements present in every sweepstakes.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Easy Streak is positioned as a compliment to the DFS industry where Fantasy Sports fans have another easy way to enjoy sports. It is estimated that there is about 1-2 million people that play DFS while there is over 40 million who play traditional sports. Easy Streak appeals to all of these fans because of how easy the contests are to play and the lack of research required. From talking to our fans we have also heard that sports fans have been getting their significant others to play in effort to try and get them involved and learn more about the sports they love as well.
What is the business model?
We are a weekly SaaS sweepstakes model. Fans may pick from 3 Tiers.
Why is the fantasy model better suited towards team picking rather than players?
We’re not sure what is meant by better suited toward teams picking rather than players. We will say this and hope it answers the question, it is more fan friendly to sports fans to pick teams instead of players because it reduces the amount of research needed, it appeals to a larger group of people, it adds back a certain value to watching sports games for what it is because you are rooting for the teams you picked instead of just individual players to do well.
Tell us a little about your background and what inspired the business?
The cofounders Nobel and Matt both have been entrepreneurs for many years working on various projects and met at Pepperdine in one of their last trimesters completing their MBA. Matt was hosting sports pools and survivor leagues at his corporate job that used paper sheets. It was a pain and hard to manage to make sure everyone got their picks in and determine who won. Matt thought it would be a great idea to have an app to manage contests for people at work and with their friends and create something similar to the companies having success in the DFS industry. Matt, not being much a tech guy reached out to Nobel who has a passion for Tech and pitched him the idea in the end of 2014. The co-founders put their money together, did market research and launched the Beta shortly after graduating in Sept 2015.
Tell us what building your company in LA has been like?
LA has been a great place to start a business because of the people and resources that are available in the area. There is definitely a geographical advantage to be based in LA that you miss out on if you’re trying to start a company in other states that have less of the Entrepreneurial and tech spirit. It’s been exciting to see Southern California become the place the Tech companies and Venture Firms from up North are coming to expand their business and infuse Venture Capital in the local startups.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We just started fundraising for a Seed round to raise money to rollout out our Web and Android platform, build out our subscription features to add more value to our fans, to create more team based contests, and to expand to our current platform that will create a great user experience for our fans. We will have all of this accomplished by September in time for football.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
Mark Suster from Upfront Ventures. When looking for investors we see them as more than just people with money but as partners and assets to help us reinforce our talents with experience and wisdom from previous companies and we really admire Mark’s insights that we have read and have heard about from other people in the local community. Mark launched Draft as a competitor to FanDuel and DraftKings. Easy Streak is a perfect complimentary product to Draft.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
To us Made in LA represents all of our experiences from school, past ventures, and the community we have celebrated wins and learned from our struggles with. We don’t feel like we’re individuals that have achieved success on our own but are benefactors of all that LA has given to us to help us achieve our goals. For us, it is not just our company that was Made in LA but we as people that have been Made in LA.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
We think there are a lot of great opportunities for entrepreneurs in LA if you know where to look and are connected to the community. One area that is heavy on our founder’s hearts is to bridge the great opportunities LA offers to those who might not know where to look and get connected. To connect resources and help promote entrepreneurship in underdeveloped communities because we believe that entrepreneurship fosters hope and hope instilled in individuals is a powerful force that can spark a contagious fire in the community.
What is your favorite restaurant in LA?