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Fantasy app Sleeper closes new $40m fundraising round


Fantasy sports group Sleeper has closed a $40m (€34.0m/£29.0m) fundraising round after doubling its user base so far during 2021.

The round featured all prior existing lead investors, most prominently venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Notable angel investors include the likes of current and former NBA athletes Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Baron Davis, as well as NFL cornerback Byron Jones and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.

The round comes as California-headquartered Sleeper revealed its app now has more than three million users – up by more than 100% on the start of the year. Its platform, which offers fantasy leagues covering the NFL, NBA, college basketball and League of Legends, also boasts a top-50 user retention ranking in the app store.

Sleeper chief executive Nan Wang said: “Our mission from day one has been to bring people together through sports and that’s what we’re seeing happening inside of our app. Typically, when a product doubles its user base, engagement goes down. That hasn’t been the case for Sleeper.

“As we’ve exceeded our own growth expectations this year, our engagement has gone up. Sleeper is more than a fantasy sports app, it’s a place to hang out with your friends, and it’s for that reason that our users stay active and keep coming back.”

Following the fundraising round, Sleeper said it will continue to expand the game offerings on its platform and is in the process of building a new feature called Wallet that will enable users to sync their preferred payment methods and bring all sports-related transactions on-platform.

“Sleeper’s multiplayer experience is all about helping sports fans connect with their friends, leading to strong engagement, retention, and organic growth – similar to what we can see on social apps,” said Andrew Chen, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Sleeper board member.

“I’m thrilled my partners leading the a16z growth fund wanted to invest further as the Sleeper team builds the go-to sporting community.”