|Hi everyone! We’re Spencer, Nick, and Joel, co-founders of Balto (https://www.playbalto.com). We develop tools for users to organize fantasy sports games that people bet on. Yes, we said it, betting! March Madness brackets, NFL survivor pools, PGA pickems and more.|
With laws changing, sports gambling is becoming a reality in all states. Last year, 60M brackets were filled out with over $10B dollars wagered for March Madness. This is just one subset of the market we’re going after. Despite these figures, games such as brackets, survivor pools and pickems continue to be overlooked while cumulative wagers climb to an estimated $20B+.
Sports run in our DNA. We’re former athletes that come from sports families—Nick’s the son of Hall of Fame Quarterback, Joe Montana. With sports deeply embedded in our lives, we always wondered what happens beyond the playing field the three of us met on.
For years, we ran sports betting pools and leagues for our friends, co-workers and others as a hobby. Things began to take off dramatically, but posed a major problem. The software that we used was outdated and not conducive for managers (ourselves) or the bettors (users). We saw this as a major opportunity to go after due to the gambling laws and space evolving.
Within a few short months we’d built an enhanced platform for managers and bettors to play on: Balto. Not only did we notice high retention amongst our users from game-to-game, but the increased social interaction and engagement amongst peers made our platform more sticky.
Aside from Balto, the current options for users are third-party websites or large antiquated media companies, which aren’t betting or gaming companies. These platforms prioritize content and ads over a great UX, and completely miss on delivering the social interactions inherent to what makes playing these games (with your friends and family) so much fun.
We aim to become the go-to platform that aggregates all betting pool games for casual fans and gamblers. We're putting the user experience at the forefront of the product by enhancing the social experience for users, the management tools for league organizers, and placing all of your favorite games onto one, mobile-first platform. It’s a tall task, especially when factoring in the laws, but it’s a space we’re beyond passionate about.
To test the product, feel free to visit www.playbalto.com. We’re currently running a free to play March Madness Challenge!
Feedback is more than welcome, don't hesitate to share in the comments. We're eager to hear your thoughts, ideas and experiences in this space. Thanks!