Exclusive: Disney in early talks to back Draft Kings at unicorn valuation

DFS Arms Race:

Much of that money is earmarked for marketing, as Draft Kings is locked in a costly customer acquisition battle with rival Fan Duel (which also is in in market with a new round that could put it in the unicorn club). Fan Duel investors include both Comcast Ventures and NBC Sports Ventures.


Draft Kings, a daily fantasy sports site through which users can legally wager real money, is in the midst of raising a new round of venture capital funding at a valuation of at least $1 billion, Fortune has learned. Among those in talks to invest is Walt Disney Co. [fortune-stock symbol=”DIS”], whose properties include ESPN.

Both Disney and Draft Kings declined to comment.

Other strategic players also may be involved, although the most logical candidates — Yahoo Inc. [fortune-stock symbol=”YHOO”] — is not expected to be involved.

This would be the third round of funding within the past year for Boston-based Draft Kings, including a $41 million Series C round last summer and a subsequent (and undisclosed) investment from Wellington Management). Overall it has raised in excess of $80 million, from firms like Wellington, Atlas Venture, GGV Capital, Redpoint Ventures and The Raine Group.

Much of that money is earmarked…

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