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Futuur is announcing a prediction market that is equal parts a forecasting tool, a virtual wagering platform, and a game.
The Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-based company taps the “wisdom of crowds,” or using crowdsourcing to arrive at the best predictions. The company is launching an app and web site allowing anyone access to a forecasting platform and game built on the principles of prediction markets, which emphasize collective intelligence.
It spices up the accuracy and participation by allowing people the appearance of placing wagers on predictions which have to have clear outcomes, said Tom Bennett, CEO of Futuur, in an interview with GamesBeat. In this case, you can use virtual currency to make your bets, but you do not cash out your winnings. So it’s not classified as gambling.
“We combine prediction with gamification where your reputation is on the line,” Bennett said. “The more people participate, the better the predictions will be. We did a trial run with the Oscars, and we nailed them all.”
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Futuur makes forecasting a game that anyone can play while harnessing collective intelligence to better predict future events in areas like politics, sports, entertainment, science, and more. By making it easier to become a forecaster and test prediction skills, Futuur believes it will eventually aid more informed decision making globally as the platform scales.
“We’ve created a unique and fun experience for Android, iOS, and the web, with the goal of bringing prediction markets to the masses,” said Bennett. “An accurate assessment of the likelihood of future events is needed in this post-fact era more than ever, and we believe that a prediction market where everyone can play will solve the issue of scale.”
Predictions aren’t new, and betting on them has been around for centuries. The underlying premise is that, with a large enough sample size, the answers tend to be just as accurate or more so than the answers you would get from an individual expert or even from a small group of experts.
After joining Futuur for free, you start with 1000 “Oom (ø)” — the in-game currency. Each potential outcome (categories include politics, sports, science and finance to name a few) has a price, which ranges from 0ø to 1ø, and represents the percentage chance that the outcome occurs, according to the community of forecasters.
Predictions are made by purchasing shares in an outcome at the indicated price. If the predicted outcome occurs, the forecaster will win 1ø for each share purchased, while those predicting other outcomes will lose their stakes. If you win, you get social capital and bragging rights. Forecasters can follow each other and compete for the top position on leaderboards.
Bennett cofounded the self-funded Futuur in 2017. His previous firm, Pond5, raised $62 million in 2014. The target audience for Futuur is political forecasters, journalists, academics, traders, sports nerds, data junkies, and passionate predictors. Rivals include real-money sports betting sites such as Betfair, Paddypower, and Bet365. Predict It is a project between Victoria University of Wellington and Aristotle International. Futuur has 11 employees.
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