8+ things to know in #MiamiTech: Big move for Betr, plus news from Yuga Labs, Blankfactor, Endeavor Miami, Florida Venture Forum, Numatec & more


Betr expands into real money fantasy sports betting on way to building a ‘super app’

Miami-based sports betting and media company Betr announced the launch of a product called Betr Picks, a pick ‘em style real money fantasy game that will complement its real money and free-to-play online sports betting platform. The launch of Betr Picks expands Betr’s operations to include the massice fantasy sports sector.

CEO Joey Levy called the launch “perhaps the most important in company history” because Betr Picks is now available in 24 jurisdictions, including Florida, representing over half of the U.S. adult population.  This follows the launch of its regulated online sports betting business in multiple jurisdictions. “This is step one in building a real money gaming super app,” Levy said.

 Users on the platform will be able to pick “more” or “less” from player projections to build a lineup of two to eight players in a contest. Those who get eight picks correct have the chance to win up to 100x their original entry price. As part of the launch, Betr Picks and Betr are launching a free-to-play picks game for the Aug. 5 fight between Jake Paul and Nate Diaz. Players can win up to $1 million in prizes.

Founded by Levy and Paul, Betr launched in 2022 with the goal of improving the online sports betting experience. In June, the company announced a $35 million Series A2 fundraise to propel its growth, following its $50 million raise last year.

Levy added in a statement: “Betr Picks allows us to acquire and engage real money gaming users across the United States, enabling Betr Gaming to more fully capitalize on the nationwide presence of Betr Media for the first time. … We believe Betr Picks already features a strong core user experience relative to existing pick ’em products, and we have several material enhancements that will be released over the coming weeks and months including more sports, game modes, media integrations, deposit and withdrawal capabilities, and more.”


Blankfactor co-founders tapped to be Endeavor Entrepreneurs

Blankfactor provides services to top-tier financial services and life sciences companies, helping them scale and deliver products faster through end-to-end product development and consulting services. This month the Miami company’s founders Michael Wear and Melody Pack were selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs at its 96th International Selection Panel  in Bali, Indonesia.

Blankfactor founders were selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs because the company is rapidly scaling, they have developed a unique model of product development services, and the founders want to pay it forward to our global community, said Claudia Duran, Managing Director of Endeavor Miami. “I am confident that they will take their company to even greater heights. Witnessing their multiplier effect in the South Florida ecosystem is something I am eagerly anticipating.”

Wear and Pak realized they needed to create a solution to address the growing demand for technology that addresses current needs while anticipating future trends, part.icularly in the financial services and life science industries. The founded Blankfactor in 2019 to  offer on-shore and nearshore development work, specializing in product development. As engineer-consultants, they collaborate with clients to envision, create, and execute product roadmaps.

Over the last four years, the company, headquartered in Miami, has grown to a workforce of 316 employees and has opened offices in Bulgaria, Colombia and Costa Rica.

Pak and Wear said that as they progressed through each step of this process, they became more and more impressed by the caliber of the Endeavor Miami mentors team members and “look forward to learning, growing, and engineering impact with Endeavor.”

In 2022, Miami’s Endeavor Entrepreneurs generated over $800 million in revenues and employed over 5,000 individuals. With the addition of its newest companies, the affiliate currently supports 25 companies and 41 entrepreneurs, such as Momentis Surgical, NovoPayment, and Tissini.


Yuga Labs acquires Roar Studios

Yuga Labs, a web3 leader based in Miami, announced it will acquire Roar Studios, a company at the convergence of gaming, social media, and the metaverse with deep technology and AI roots. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Roar Studios is the developer of ROAR, an immersive media experience where artists and fans connect, collaborate, and compete in real time from anywhere. Founder and CEO, Eric Reid, who will join Yuga as the General Manager of Otherside. As Yuga Labs develops Otherside, its interoperable metaverse and one of its most ambitious metaverse projects to date, the Roar team will contribute their innovative technology, specialized expertise, and leadership, Yuga Labs said.

Led by CEO Daniel Alegre, Yuga Labs is the web3 company home of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), CryptoPunks, Meebits, 10KTF, and Otherside. In March 2022, Yuga Labs raised a $450 million seed round at a $4B valuation last year.

“Roar Studios has redefined what it means to experience media content in the metaverse,” said  Alegre. “Yuga’s North Star is creating new ways for communities to connect and express themselves, and I am excited to welcome Roar’s talented team to our Yuga family. Roar’s dedication to creative content creation and social connections will accelerate our execution of our bold vision for Otherside and Yuga’s ecosystem more broadly.”


Where are AI jobs clustering? Report sheds light

According to a new report from the thinktank Brookings Institution, AI jobs are clustered in a small number of “superstar” cities and “early adopter” centers, but as of now Miami is not one of them, the South Florida Business Journal reported.

The California Bay Area is home to about four times as many AI companies and job postings as the next tier of 13 early adopter metro areas, including New York, Boston, Seattle, Austin and Raleigh. Job postings in generative AI are even more concentrated, the report said.

The report identified multiple Sunshine State metros as a “potential adoption center,” including the Miami-area. Read more in the South Florida Business Journal.


Florida Venture Forum unveils statewide networking and resource platform

 Florida Venture Forum, Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, has launched FL Innovation Connect, a free networking and information platform for the innovation and venture capital communities. The Forum collaborated with EcoMap Technologies to bring this open-source platform to Florida’s innovation ecosystem. 

“Given the size our state and growth of our innovation ecosystem, it’s challenging to be aware of all the great organizations, events, and information sources available to us,” said Kevin Burgoyne, President and CEO of Florida Venture Forum. “FL Innovation Connect puts everything in one place; from lists of investors and incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces, to events and job opportunities, to individual and organization listings. Whether you are a founder, investor, service provider or entrepreneur support organization, we invite you to join and contribute to the platform.”

The platform’s features include user-controlled and searchable listings, founder/entrepreneur resources, a statewide event calendar, and a job board. Find it here.


UKG expands Weston headquarters

While many companies are contracting their office space, one South Florida tech company is expanding. Ultimate Kronos Group, a software company that provides human resources and payroll services, closed on a lease deal that will add another 14,072 square feet of office to its 140,599-square-foot office headquarters in Weston Pointe office park.

UKG, which  employs about 15,000 people worldwide and generated about $3.66 billion in revenue last year, was formed in 2020 following the merger of Ultimate Software, which was founded in Weston in 1990, and Kronos Incorporated.  UKG employs about 2,000 people in South Florida. Read more in the South Florida Business Journal.


Numatec enters Brazilian market

 Numatec, a Miami-based global holding company focused on media and MarTech ventures, has entered the massive Brazilian market with its subsidiary EKN Solutions.

EKN is a data-driven, omnichannel buy-side media company that provides clients and consumers access to digital advertising services for search, display, video, social, mobile, and native. EKN will help Numatec establish a leadership team and physical presence in this new market. Numatec has a current run rate of over $50 million in yearly revenue.

“EKN is already one of the largest independent trading desks in LATAM, and this expansion is proof that our obsessive focus on client results leads to explosive growth across our industry,” said Alexandre Jordão, managing director and partner of NUMATEC Brazil, in a statement.


Opportunity knocks

  •  ShellHacks, Florida’s largest  student hackathon,  is returning for its seventh year and will be held in person at Florida International University in Miami from September 15-17. It is being hosted by INIT, Students from around the state and beyond, as well as recent grads and those attending bootcamps, are invited to participate, learn new skills and potentially win prizes. It is open to all skill levels and majors. To secure your spot, visit http://shellhacks.net and submit your application.
  • The Venture Miami Scholarship Fund provides tuition support to provide gap funding for at-need City of Miami residents who have been accepted into STEM or defined-demand occupation programs at participating colleges and universities, including Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, Miami Dade College, and the University of Miami. How to apply: Students who meet the program requirements and are interested in applying to the Venture Miami scholarship are encourage to complete this survey to begin the application process.
  • EndeavorLAB, an 8-week cohort-based initiative that equips founders with curriculum, mentorship and resources to grow their business, is accepting applications for its Black Founders Cohort Powered by Dell For Startups that begins in October. To be eligible, Black founders must be based in Florida, have achieved product-market fit, and are generating $50K to $500K in annual revenue. The program costs are covered by the sponsors.  Apply here by Sept. 10.
  • The Alan B. Levan/NSU Broward Center of Innovation is accepting applications for the 100 Startup Project. Applicants who are accepted will receive a yearlong membership to the Levan Center of Innovation. Apply here


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Nancy Dahlberg