Banach to focus on major league sports after funding round

3 July 2018

Dublin-based start-up Banach Technology plans to expand its portfolio into the four traditional US major league sports by the end of 2018 after securing €2.2m (£1.9m/$2.6m) in a seed-funding round that included investments from Paddy Power co-founders David Power and Stewart Kenny.

Banach’s technology, which allows punters to build a personalised bet consisting of correlated same-game principles, is currently specific to football.

However, Banach chief executive Mark Hughes said the company will strengthen the in-house team of mathematicians and software engineers with several new hires to enable new product launches for American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey, as well as tennis, in the coming months.

“We have a football product at the moment and we want to build that out for other sports and also start growing into risk management,” Hughes, who spent six years at Paddy Power before leaving in 2014, told iGamingBusiness.com.

According to The Times newspaper, Power and Kenny have invested €200,000 and €100,000, respectively. Other investors in the funding round included former Paddy Power chief executive Patrick Kennedy and the company’s ex-chief financial officer Cormac McCarthy, as well as Cormac Barry, who headed up the Australian division of Paddy Power until earlier this year.

The funding round, which according to the company was over-subscribed, will support Banach’s business plan over the next 18 months to two years, when a further funding round is likely to take place, Hughes said.

However, he admitted that “plans could change” if the US market “explodes” in the meantime – particularly given the company’s efforts to increase its exposure in relation to followers of the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL major leagues. “It will really depend on the opportunities at the time,” he said.

Hughes (pictured) also added that the track records of the start-up’s investors will help to boost Banach’s reputation in the market.

Founded in 2015, the company has worked with a number of the industry’s top companies, including GVC Holdings, which completed its acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral in March. Banach is currently working with Ladbrokes Coral on in-game technology during the ongoing Fifa World Cup.

“There are big names among our investors and that gives us credibility,” Hughes said.

“We think we’re unique in the sense that some of the work we’ve done together as a team in the past has allowed us to build platforms very quickly. We’re trying to get in the right people to build on that.”