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Sharp Alpha closes $25m venture capital fund

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Sharp Alpha has announced the closure of Fund II, an oversubscribed $25m (£19.8m/€23.1m) venture capital fund.

Fund II invests in emerging sports, gaming and entertainment companies. It has invested in Almost Friday Media, Jackpot.com and Betcha. Its first investment from Fund II was C15 Studio, which operates and distributes Formula 1’s streaming channel.

The fund is supported by a number of financial institutions, professional sports teams and venture capitalists across the US. It focuses on making seed investments in the range of $1m-$2m. As well as exceeding the $25m total for the fund, Sharp Alpha added to its deal team.

A co-investment vehicle also owned by Sharp Alpha will allow a select number of partners to invest more capital into certain deals alongside the fund.

Sharp Alpha’s portfolio includes Future Anthem, SlamBall and SnapOdds.

Total of $10m raised by Fund I

Lloyd Danzig, managing partner of Sharp Alpha, said that early-stage companies are suited to a certain level of innovation.

“The competitive entertainment category is experiencing exponential growth but at the same time is desperate for innovation that early-stage companies are best positioned to supply,” he said. “We are entering the most favourable period in the last 15 years to bet on great founders.”

Fund I closed in October 2021 and raised $10m for betting technology start-ups. At the time it was announced, it had provided financial support to Players’ Lounge, PickUp and Prophet. Prophet launched in New Jersey as the first regulated US sports betting exchange soon after the investment.

Sharp Alpha’s advisory board is made up of a number of industry and financial heavy-hitters. It includes Keith Horn, founder of Loring Capital Advisors, former COO of Elliot Management and global head of leveraged finance at Merrill Lynch, and Emanuel Pearlman, former chair of Empire Resorts.

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