Real-time sportsbet startup Picklive cashes in its chips

London-based Picklive, which had built an innovative real-time sports betting service, has sold to pool betting tech firm Sports Millions, having struggled to go further as a standalone.

Deal terms aren’t disclosed. Picklive investors included Passion Capital and several angels. The whole company, not just assets, was sold.

Picklive was founded as “Football 3s” by Tim Morgan, an obsessive Swansea City fan, when he left as CEO of multimedia production house Mint Digital in 2010.

A twist on fantasy football, it was designed to be played along with live soccer matches. Users form their digital team from on-field players, scoring points for their real match actions, as determined by Opta live match data feeds.

The execution was slick and the fanbase loyal. But Picklive was unable to gain greater traction – for instance, through relationships with sports broadcasters or bookmakers, which would have made logical partners.

“In-play” sports betting offered by the large bookmakers is going from strength to strength, advertised heavily during commercial breaks during televised sporting events. But few gamify the system using data and technology quite like Picklive has.

Morgan told Picklive users on Wednesday:

“Three years ago, we invented live fantasy football as a form of second screen entertainment. Now we feel that we’ve taken the product as far as we can and that the new owners are better placed to develop Picklive in the future to fulfill its potential in other sports and to a wider audience.

“The new owners of Picklive have skills and competence in the gaming arena that mean we are confident that Picklive will go from strength to strength.”

Picklive team members are expected to embark on new projects. Morgan tells paidContent:

“There is unprecedented opportunity to build tech startups at the moment but there are also new models of early-stage funding emerging.

“It’s at this intersection I intend to operate next.”

Sports Millions looks like a good destination for Picklive. The three-year-old company currently operates several Premier League score predictor games, a spot-the-ball game and casino games.