CashBet has raised $1.7 million in angel funding for a platform that enables developers to build real-money gambling into their social and mobile games.
The company aims to run a business that will allow more companies to bridge the game between the multibillion-dollar markets of mobile games and online gambling.
The Oakland, Calif.-based company received the money from FWH Holdings and private investors, and it will use it to develop its online gambling platform. CashBet can do this because the Alderney Gambling Control Commission in the British Channel Islands awarded online gambling licenses to CashBet, allowing it to register players and engage in online gambling transactions in Europe.
CashBet’s business is very similar to that of Betable, the San Francisco-based real-money gambling platform (with much better financing) that offloads the compliance and other issues from game developers so they can easily convert mobile games to real-money online gambling. Like Betable, CashBet is going after what Morgan Stanley Research estimates will be a $40 billion online gambling industry in 2014.
The company was founded in December 2012. It has seven employees and it had raised $200,000 in a seed round before it took the new angel investment. Investors include Fred Hsu. CashBet is currently seeking more funding from larger institutions as well.
“As veterans of the online gambling industry, CashBet is uniquely positioned to overcome challenges in legality, compliance and more,” said Hsu. “To date, CashBet has already made significant strides in building their platform to create real value for partners. Angels like myself live to support companies like CashBet as they move forward building out their vision.”
CashBet chief executive Mike Reaves, who previously worked at CyberArts and MondoBox, said in a statement that the company has acquired Category 1 and Category 2 “eGambling” licenses from the British Channel Islands agency.
The company is in private beta testing. Its software development kit is available to HTML5 and iOS developers. By integrating the SDK, software developers enable CashBet to handle player registration, AES encryption security, anti-fraud operations, age and identity verification, and banking.
Publishers using the platform include publicly traded Gamzio, a social game developer in Irvine, Calif. CashBet says it uses a high-speed networks, world-class physical security, and anti-fraud systems that are monitored by both humans and automated systems.
Online gambling has been growing 20 percent a year, with mobile gambling becoming the fastest-growing segment. With real-money gambling, players can become much more engaged and — on the down side — addicted. CashBet wants to build a trusted brand for mobile game developers and bridge the gap between social/mobile play and online gambling.
“CashBet provides game developers a single SDK for access to the most robust online gambling platform,” said Jay Deiboldt, CEO of Gamzio. “By integrating Gamzio games with CashBet, we’re able to tap into the billion-dollar market expected this year, seamlessly. Access to real-money online gambling is a game changer for social and mobile game developers who want to grow their revenues through this channel.”
The company made the announcement in advance of the ICE Totally Gaming 2014 conference in London this week. The company’s chief technology officer is George Weinberg, who has been working in software development for 20 years.