DraftKings Plans International Growth With $300M Funding

Just a month after Walt Disney Co. reportedly backed out of a expected investment in Boston startup DraftKings, the Bay State company has found some other big-name investors willing to bet on its ability to rule the daily fantasy sports world.

FOX Sports, which represents 21st Century FOX’s US-based sports assets, announced it is leading a $300 million Series D round in DraftKings. It is joined in the deal by a laundry list of high-profile investors, including Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, The Madison Square Garden Company, and Legends.

Since DraftKings was launched in 2012, the company has run 100 million fantasy sports contests. The startup awarded $300 million in prize money last year; it expects that total to rise to more than $1 billion in 2015.

DraftKings is using the funding to launch its operations in international markets and build out its website and mobile products. FOX Sports is itself investing about $150 million for an 11 percent stake in the company, according to The Boston Globe’s BetaBoston, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The companies seemingly agreed on more than just the venture funding. DraftKings agreed ot spend $250 million on advertising over the next three years at Fox’s various media companies, according to BetaBoston. That comes on the heels of an agreement DraftKings signed with ESPN, which is owned by Disney, to become the sports network’s exclusive daily fantasy sports partner. That deal was announced June 24, just after reports surfaced that Disney was canceling a plan to invest $250 million.

DraftKings’ existing investors Atlas Venture, DST Global, GGV Capital, The Kraft Group, The Raine Group, and Wellington Management Company also participated in the new financing.

Xconomy spoke with CEO Jason Robins later today, so look for more details tomorrow.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at [email protected] Follow @xconholley

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