Entain, one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming companies, announced Thursday that it has agreed to acquire Unikrn, a Seattle startup that operates an esports betting platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2014, Unikrn was backed by celebrity investors including Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher. It allows people to bet on esports matches in games such as League of Legends or Counter-Strike much like they do with traditional sports.
Entain owns a bevy of online brands such as bwin and Ladbrokes across sports betting, casino, poker, and bingo games. It processed more than $16 billion of sports wagers in 2020, and employs more than 24,000 people worldwide across 20 offices.
Unikrn is temporarily halting its services as the deal is completed.
Rahul Sood, who previously led Microsoft Ventures, and tech vet Karl Flores founded the company. Flores took over for Sood as CEO last year, and will join Entain along with Unikrn’s other employees. The company has around 40 employees, according to LinkedIn.
Sood told GeekWire he will remain in Seattle and is looking for a new opportunity.
“It’s been a fun journey with celebrations, challenges, and tons of happiness,” Sood told GeekWire. “I’m excited about the future of Unikrn and Entain, and I’m gonna start looking for something cool to do again.”