Yahoo has announced the acquisition of Wagr, a social sports betting start-up based in Nashville, in a move to strengthen its position in the fantasy sports market. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Wagr has raised $16m in funding from notable investors such as Seven Seven Six, Greycroft, and Kraft Group since its founding in 2020.
Wagr's platform allows sports fans to place bets alongside friends with features like challenges, leaderboards, and tools for "smack talk". Yahoo, one of the largest fantasy sports players in the US, plans to leverage Wagr's technology to expand into new group formats that promote engagement and friendly competition.
Jon Shaw, Yahoo Sports SVP, said in a press release that the acquisition of Wagr would allow Yahoo to create and deliver "the most compelling fantasy and gaming products". He added that acquiring Wagr presents an opportunity for Yahoo to expand into new group formats that take engagement and friendly competition to the next level.
This move comes just two months after Yahoo laid off 20% of its staff from its ad tech business. At the time, Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone said that the layoffs were part of the company's effort to strengthen its Yahoo for Business advertising unit.
The Wagr acquisition marks a new chapter for the social betting start-up and is expected to accelerate its growth as part of Yahoo's wider ecosystem. The acquisition also means that Wagr's team, including CEO Ross Cohen, will join Yahoo Sports. The move is part of Yahoo's strategy to expand its portfolio of fantasy sports products and enhance its offering to consumers.