Miami Tech & Startup News

Luck of the Irish? ASX Sports bets big on Miami as new HQ

Luck of the Irish? ASX Sports bets big on Miami as new HQ

An Irish startup offering sports fans live in-game trading has moved its headquarters to Miami, where it will be aggressively expanding its products and partnerships with sports leagues and franchises.

ASX Sports is a blockchain-powered virtual sports exchange that launched in recent months with apps on both Apple and Android. ASX says it is creating the first NFTs for sports with listed values that fluctuate in real time, based on the underlying performance of players and demand in the marketplace.

“It’s like stocks for sports. The player’s stock price will fluctuate, so you can trade. When game is over, whoever’s portfolio is ahead wins,” explained Paddy Power, ASX’s founder and president and a fourth-generation bookie. The startup is betting on the gamification of trading NFTs as its key area of growth.

The startup recently signed an exclusive agreement with Sky New Zealand and Rugbypass to bring a new generation of fantasy-style gaming to millions of rugby fans worldwide, including in the US, early next year. Other sports are on the runway too: ASX’s initial beta testing with English Premier League soccer and NCAA basketball games was received very well, said Power, who was previously involved in the family business Paddy Power, an international sports betting and gaming operator that is now part of Flutter Entertainment.

Paddy Power, founder and President of ASX Sports

Why Miami for ASX’s HQ? “Why not Miami when they have created an environment that makes it as easy as it can be for a young company to get going?” said Power, in an interview with Refresh Miami. “And the US market is what we will ultimately be going after.”

Put another way: “We are a fintech inspired next generation fantasy NFT trading game and with all those buzzwords, Miami seems to be the center of things when  it comes to that industry,” Power said. “Miami has been progressive in creating the tech hub, and from an investment perspective, there is plenty of interest in this type of business.”

ASX hopes to close its Series A round early next year. The company said it raised about $3 million in seed funding earlier this year. ASX is heading toward closing deals with 20-plus clubs and leagues, Power said. “We have lots of plates spinning but they are all spinning together.”

Thalius Hecksher

The ASX team of 30 includes six people in Miami so far, Power said. The company announced its executive team today, and two of them are in Miami, according to Power. They are:

  • Chief Investment Officer Thalius Hecksher, who founded Hecksher Partners, a Miami-based company that invests in and advises innovators in fund management and related growth industries.  Earlier in his career, he was global director at Trident Fund Services and Apex Fund Services.
  • President of Business Development Anthony Puntoriero, who previously founded Instant Sponsor, the creator of “Just in Time” branding and sponsorship programs used by major sports leagues around the world.

Rounding out the ASX leadership team are Mike Griffin, Managing Director and Head of Revenue; Ciro Vivacqua, Chief Technology Officer; aand Chief Marketing Officer Laughlin Rigby.

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