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Ryan Knuppel:

Hey, what’s going on everybody? Ryan Knuppel here, Knup Sports Show episode 144. We’re moving up in the numbers. That’s awesome. I hope you’re doing well today. Today’s Thursday, November 4th. And we are here. We’re talking sports betting. We’re talking to another guest as we always do. I’m excited for this interview. I’m excited to hear what’s going on with this guest. So let’s jump right in. Actually before I do, I want to make sure I say, if you’re watching this live and you have questions, you have comments for myself, for the guest, feel free to put it in whatever platform you’re on. It’ll show up right here on our screen. We’ll pop it up. We’ll engage with you right away if you do have questions or comments. So we encourage that. We want to make this a little more engaging, a little more interactive with the guests and myself. So I encourage you to do that as you’re going. All right, without further ado, I’m going to bring on our guest today. We have Alex Dubin with us. Alex, thanks for joining me.

Alex Dubin:

Thanks for having me, Ryan

Ryan Knuppel:

Really appreciate you being here. Alex Dubin with BettorOff. I can’t wait to hear more about BettorOff on what’s going on with that. But first of all, tell me a little bit about yourself, Alex.

Alex Dubin:

So I’m an attorney by trade. I’m the best kind of attorney, the retired kind.

Ryan Knuppel:

Ooh.

Alex Dubin:

Yep. Ended up getting out of school, playing baseball a little bit, getting hurt, wasn’t ready for the real world. Went out and taught skiing in Aspen for a little bit. Ended up moving to Miami. I worked for Pat Riley with the Heat from ’06 to ’09. Got that first championship, that Shaq, D. Wade, pre LeBron title. Figured I’d had enough fun and wanted to do the least fun thing I could think of. So I went to law school, got out in 2012, did a year working for Louis Freeh, the former FBI director, and then ended up at DLA Piper, big New York firm doing hedge fund and PE work, which is exactly as riveting as it sounds. Was there for a few years and ended up actually at a backroom poker game in the Flatiron District if you know, New York at all.

Alex Dubin:

Ended up meeting two guys who were playing DraftKings and FanDuel at a super high level. They’d written these algorithms and their biggest problem was they were having trouble getting enough money down. And they said, oh, you do hedge funds. Can you build us a fund? And I said, absolutely, having no freaking clue what the heck I was going to do. Struggled with it, almost got fired for even bring it up and then sort of built the fund from inside of the firm and left to launch it with them. It was called Roto Capital.

Alex Dubin:

We raised several million dollars. We played DraftKings and FanDuel if you can believe it for 23 months. Won a DraftKings world championship with the million and the check and championship belt. Ended up returning over 73% in that 23 month period to day one investors. One of my founding partners is Jeremy Stein who’s actually the CEO of SportsGrid now. Really great company. They’ve got all sorts of great products. We ended up after that starting a sports data and analytics company. Moved out into eSports and ended up getting acquired by SportsGrid. And then now I’m here. started BettorOff because I was not going to go back to being a lawyer.

Ryan Knuppel:

Man. That’s a cool journey you’ve been on. You’ve been all over the place. I can say you have a vast, wide range of experiences is the way we’ll put that. So that’s pretty cool that it brought you to where you are today. So let’s talk a little bit about it. Let’s talk a little bit about BettorOff and what the app and just give us the high level view of what it is.

Alex Dubin:

Sure. So we’re all about bringing transparency and opportunity into the sports betting information landscape. And the important thing right off the bat is we’re not a book. Bets don’t get placed on our platform, but what hit me in my sort of finance sports brain is that the sports wager information market is fundamentally broken. And what it suffers from is a complete lack of transparency. So what do I mean by a lack of transparency? We’re talking about transparency of data. So what we’re suffering from is actionable information, not on the sports or the players, but on the experts and for the listeners and not the viewers, I’m doing the air quotes, right? Ever since Bill James and Sabermetrics and Moneyball, the amount of data, the data sets that are available on players, on teams is innumerable.

Alex Dubin:

The irony, or at least the lack of balance is that the same data does not exist anywhere for these experts. So while the sports information world is very much in the 21st century, the data on the experts, the people who are trying to either sell you their picks or convince you to watch their programs is stuck back somewhere in the mid ’90s. We’re here to fix that. So we’ve built a platform powered by deep data analytics and most importantly, verified record tracking to support what we’re building, which is the first fully transparent data driven sports wagering information community.

Ryan Knuppel:

That’s really cool. Transparency, you’re right, transparency is a big issue in this space and it always has been, and it always will be until you fix it, I guess, but that’s awesome. It sounds like there’s a lot going on with it. Where did it actually come from though? You said you and your buddies or somebody presented it to you and you’re just like, yeah, this is a great idea. I guess what made you say yes to that? To just say yes and start diving into starting this company BettorOff?

Alex Dubin:

Well, so for starters, after SportsGrid, when I wasn’t working, turns out women don’t like guys who are unemployed. So I had to figure out what to do, or at least I had to figure out how to become a better liar and I’m not a very good liar. So I had to go get a job. What actually spawned this is a real life friend of mine, Jack, who is listening, I imagine. Jack lives in Akron, Ohio. He is a proud Akron zip and big money to you if you can tell me what the hell as zip is, but Akron is a division one program specifically in football and Jack knows Akron zips football inside and out, backwards and forwards, and it’s not because he’s paid to do it. It’s because he loves it. He’s that Spike Lee Knicks fan.

Alex Dubin:

And he was everything about it because it’s his passion, but Jack is married, beautiful wife, two beautiful kids, beautiful job. There is no usefulness to this knowledge, right? He lives in Ohio where you still can’t sports wager online. And even if you could, the jump between having that knowledge and being able to really monetize it, it’s a large gap. He is not going to get hired as ESPN’s Akron football expert. And he has with two kids, neither the time, nor the inclination to go out there and try and brand himself as a Twitter capping expert. So what he has is skill and passion, but no ability to monetize it. And he was always talking about how, he’d say if I lived in Vegas and then it became if I lived in Jersey I could bet on this stuff, but I thought, why can’t he monetize it?

Alex Dubin:

Why can’t we build something? And the two analogs that I hear the most often when I explain this to people are Uber and OnlyFans. Uber’s the direct one, OnlyFans is the fun one. Being able to monetize something that you have. Now, if it’s OnlyFans, it can be whatever you want. If it’s Uber, it’s your car. You can use it to take the kids to school, to buy groceries. But the rest of the time it sits in your garage. What we have built is a platform that will allow Jack to monetize that. So he goes on the platform, he signs up, it’s free and he starts making picks on whatever he wants, but on Akron football. And we offer over a dozen books, we offer parlays, we offer prop bets, game lines, and he starts making those picks.

Alex Dubin:

Now, again, these are not bets, but we track them internally on the public ledger. So if you’re into crypto at all, that’s a buzzword. It just means that it’s verifiable data, which is what we live on. So that instead of the people on Twitter claiming I have an 85% win rate and 130% ROI, and I’m 6’5 and I’m dating Kate Hudson. What we’re saying is, okay, Jack makes these picks and we’re tracking it, alright? And everyone can see his pick history if they want. Now the social component is a lot like Instagram, Twitter, Reddit. If I see that Jack is winning, I want to follow him. I want to know what picks he’s making. Not necessarily because I care about Akron football, but because if there’s someone out there who’s making good picks, I want to know. I want to be able to track them so I can follow them.

Alex Dubin:

Yeah. Now on Jack’s side, he sees his followers go up. He can do on our platform what you can’t do anywhere else, which is he can go pro. He can take his channel at zero cost to him and he can start charging for people to follow.

Ryan Knuppel:

Love it.

Alex Dubin:

And the ability for him to say, look, I win at 83%. My ROI is 74%. It’s going to cost 20 bucks a month or five bucks a month or a thousand dollars a month. The beauty here is the entire platform is a meritocracy. Where you are on the leaderboard is based on where you are. You can’t buy your way up there. And the market, and this is the hedge fund geek in me, is self perfecting. If Jack goes out there and tries to charge a thousand dollars, and there are three other people doing what he does at the level he does it charging 20 bucks, he’s going to get priced out. He’s going to need to adjust his price. So the spark came from how can someone like Jack monetize that passion, monetize that knowledge without having to pay for ads, without having to take the time away from their work?

Ryan Knuppel:

I love that. You painted a great picture of what the app does, what the product does. And I have a feeling, a lot of the things you just said are going to answer the next question that I bring up because one thing I know you’re aware of and what’s beautiful about this space is there’s so much competition. There’s so many people doing, I won’t say exactly what you’re doing, but trying to do apps and trying to track picks. And there are other apps out there similar, but what makes BettorOff different? What separates you? Like I said, I have a feeling a few of the things you just said because when I heard some of that, I’m like, ooh, that’s a little different. That’s little different than what I’ve heard. And so I want to hear from you though, what what’s different than maybe some of the competitive apps that are out there or tracking tools that are out there?

Alex Dubin:

Yep. So that’s a great question. And our PR team warned me not to answer that question by naming any competitors because it gives them… So now what I’m supposed to do is called a bridge, which is like answering your question without answering your question, which I freaking hate, but we’re going to do it anyway because I don’t like it when they yell at me. You ready? You see how I’m going to do this? I’m now going to refer to the universe of competitive people in this area because of all the money that’s coming in.

Ryan Knuppel:

Hey, you notice I did the same thing. I didn’t name any competitors. We’re going universe here so here we go. We learn from the best.

Alex Dubin:

So look, the three hottest markets in the world and certainly in the country right now are cannabis, sports wagering, and crypto. So everyone’s trying to get into those three. The differentiator between us and everyone else and there are a few, first of all, is the data and the transparency. We’re not here to sponsor ads. I’m not here to tell you who you should follow. We are here to provide the data to let you make the most educated decision possible. And remember, this is all free. My friend Jack could go pro, but maybe he doesn’t want to. Maybe he just wants to share picks and go back and forth. It’s gamified. You can get badges and trophies and all that stuff. But the ability to track the data and not just wins and losses, but weighted win percentage, ROI, units gained, to be able to track it by bet type, sport, league, player, parlay, all of it.

Alex Dubin:

It should operate and I won’t go too deep into this because it’s boring, but it should operate kind of like a hedge fund. You should be the portfolio manager of your bank role and the same way that a hedge fund portfolio manager has analysts who cover different areas. Biotech, pharma, emerging markets and says, okay, Ryan, here are five investment opportunities in this space. Then you, as the manager, go through it and decide where to deploy the cash.

Alex Dubin:

That is what we have built. We’re building a community so that you, the better, can see the entire universe of sports wagering information capers. And whether that is someone who knows the hell out of Ohio state or English Premier League, or my friend Jack, who knows Akron, the fact that you’ve never heard of them doesn’t matter. It’s great that I see Desmond Howard on college football. And I remember him winning the Heisman, but that doesn’t mean he understands sports betting and it sure as heck flies in the face of the wisdom of crowds that says no 10 people, whether they’re sponsored by a big name or not are going to cover 123 D1 teams. So for us, what we are doing is building that community of qualified analysts and giving access to that community free of charge to the consumer.

Ryan Knuppel:

Yeah. Love it. Keep going. Go ahead.

Alex Dubin:

So other other ones, again are trying to tell you who to follow. We’re not. All of the data is available and free. We’re not charging you for data. We’re giving you the opportunity to be the expert. So my friend Jack knows Akron zips football, but doesn’t know anything else. So he gets to be a consumer and a producer. The same way as Uber. You can drive Uber and you can ride it. He can have his own channel for Akron while subscribing to other channels for the NFL because he sucks at it. So that ability for you, anyone who’s listening to become an expert. If you know this stuff, there is no barrier with us.

Ryan Knuppel:

I love that.

Alex Dubin:

We take the problems away. You don’t need to pay to do it. You don’t need to market yourself. You don’t need to track your history. We take all of the barriers away, which no one else does.

Ryan Knuppel:

Love that. I love that. So where are you guys at? So where’s the apps sit currently? I’m assuming it’s live. It’s in action. Where are you at? Do you have users that are actively using this? Tell me a little bit about the situation where you’re at currently.

Alex Dubin:

Yep. So we’re in both the iOS store and the Google Play store. My mom says that the square on the screen looks really nice. I think spiffy was the word. You’ll see it. It’s the reverse of my hat, blue and white. We launched in earnest about a month ago. We’ve got a shade over 2000 monthly active users at this point.

Ryan Knuppel:

Congrats.

Alex Dubin:

The other metrics don’t really matter. You can go out and buy 10,000 users from anywhere. Are your users active? And we’re new. We’re a month old. For the entrepreneurs, the tech people among you, we’re definitely MVP. You build something, you make it slick, you make it solid, you put it out there and then you let the community tell you how to iterate and build.

Alex Dubin:

So we have eight different leagues covered. We have parlays, we have multi picks, you can like and comment, follow, subscribe, all of that. But we are building it out every day. And obviously you can see it on socials, but we’re sort of at that place where you can start tracking yourself, following others and starting on Monday, I believe, the monetization goes live where you can start charging for it if you want to. But we’re excited. This is something that my team and I are passionate about. We love it. And we’ve managed to luck into, as you said, sort of the right time, the gold rush for this industry.

Ryan Knuppel:

It certainly is. It’s a gold rush. This is Alex Dubin of BettorOff. Really, anybody watching this live, watching this on replay, I really urge you go out, download the app, check out BettorOff. I think you’ll enjoy it. Even if you don’t consider yourself a professional picker or a professional handicapper or whatever. I think there’s sometimes there’s that stereotype of like, oh, well I just make picks for fun. And this and that. I think this can cater to people like that as well, because as you were saying, it can kind of show them that maybe they are good at something within this space. And really it helps them track and go from there and then maybe move them into that next phase of like, huh, maybe I should charge for this or maybe I could monetize what I do here. I think a lot of times people don’t even understand if they’re good or not, because they’re not tracking and they’re not really keeping track of all that stuff, I guess. I don’t know where I’m headed with that but you know what I mean, I think

Alex Dubin:

With no cost to them. That that’s the barrier for so many people. And it’s not just this. It’s for so many people trying to do anything in the midst of a busy life. And that cost doesn’t necessarily just need to be money. It can be time. I want to get better at guitar. Well, I have two kids and I don’t have time to do all this stuff. I want to see how good I am at sports betting and see if it’s something I can do. Well, I don’t have time for Twitter and to spend money on ads, but here you are, the ability to turn yourself into something and become an influencer.

Ryan Knuppel:

So, being an MVP, kind of, per se, like you said, you’re always developing, you’re always enhancing, but is there anything big, anything in particular that you guys are looking to add? What’s the future look like for BettorOff? Is there some big feature that you guys are adding here soon? Or is it truly a listen and respond type model?

Alex Dubin:

So it’s both. I think obviously it’s important to be open to what the community is saying, but we definitely have our plan. Live wagering is going to be a big thing. Live betting, in game betting is the fastest growing segment in the sports wagering market by a factor of 10. It’s almost an order of magnitude. So being able to do that is going to be a big one. We’re adding leagues every couple of weeks. The next ones to come will be Formula 1, men’s and women’s tennis, ATP, WTA, and UFC. We’ll be adding a group’s functionality, which it’s an example of something that we hadn’t thought of, that our users came back to us and said, yeah, it’s great that I can follow and other people can follow.

Alex Dubin:

But I went to the University of Michigan and I was at AE PI or whatever, I want to have a group where I can just trash talk my friends from Michigan and we can run contests. So we’ll be bringing in the group’s functionality as well is going to be a very big one. So live wagering groups. And then I’d say Q3 2022 we’ll be advancing out into eSports, which I know you’ve spoken with. You’ve had a lot of eSports and eSports wagering people on here. A lot of people don’t know that eSports wagering is a thing. They’ve heard Mark Cuban founded Unikrn on Ether a few years ago. And it’s in Luxembourg I think. But they don’t really know about it. That’s what’s coming next.

Ryan Knuppel:

It is. It’s not going away, that’s for sure. It’s coming fast. So that’s exciting that you guys are going to going to bring that in as well. I think that’ll do well for you because that’s a whole nother demographic of person that’s going to be interested in that type of that type of betting, I think. So that’s cool.

Alex Dubin:

And we’re constantly running contests and as our little self promo, we’re actually launching a campus ambassador program, which may seem suspiciously like the Barstool Sports VICE program or the Victoria Secret Pink program. And I like to think of it more as we are inspired by them, then that we completely freaking ripped them off, but let’s be real. We saw that they worked fantastically for both of them. So we have completely ripped them off.

Ryan Knuppel:

Competition’s a good thing. We just went through that a little bit ago. Competition’s here. It’s going to be here and everything.

Alex Dubin:

Yep. So if you’re listening and you’re watching and you go to a school and you want to be a campus ambassador and get swag and we’re taking the winners of certain things to Vegas and just all sorts of good stuff, hit us up BettorOff.com. You can contact us, but had to slip that in there.

Ryan Knuppel:

I love it. No, I like your logo. That’s cool. I’m sure the swag looks good on those college kids I’m sure.

Alex Dubin:

Yeah, once we convinced the patent trademark office that we didn’t rip off the Roger Federer logo from Nike, everything’s [crosstalk 00:24:21]

Ryan Knuppel:

Oh, okay. That’s a little similarity, huh?

Alex Dubin:

Close enough. There’s no R but pissing off Nike was on my list of stuff not to do that week.

Ryan Knuppel:

Always something in business isn’t it? Always something. And that’s a question I like to ask as well. You seem like a savvy business guy. You seem like you got it all together and you just seem like you love this process of business building and just being a part of this. So, what’s one thing, I don’t know, one tip, one thing just for other future entrepreneurs that maybe looking to start something out there in this crazy space? What’s one piece of advice you’d have for them? I know you don’t want to build the next competitor to you, but what’s piece of advice from a business sense you might have?

Alex Dubin:

You know what, bring it on. I think this idea of fast followers and oh my God, Amazon’s going to build this and get gobbled up. It’s not that it’s not real, but if you think about it, it’s very rare that that happens. You see Facebook bought Instagram.

Ryan Knuppel:

True.

Alex Dubin:

Facebook obviously could have built Instagram, but they would much rather the sharks, the whales would much rather let the small fish build their stuff up and acquire them rather than come back because the same thing that makes them quote a threat is also what makes it hard for them to just snap their fingers. They’re not nimble. But back to the actual question, I would say don’t assume that you know what your customer wants. Build the best team you can. You don’t want employees. You want partners. And you want partners who are going to ride with you through everything because it’s going to get bad. There are going to be days where you just wish that you were the last person, the last toll booth operator in all of New York, anything other than this.

Alex Dubin:

And if your team isn’t with you, you’re not going to make it. But from a product standpoint, research your market, make sure that there are people who want it. Don’t go into building buggies unless you live near a Mennonite community and then build it, get your MVP out there, shoestring it, make it good. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Make it slick and then get it out there and let your people tell you how to iterate. And for everyone else who tells you, oh, why isn’t this there? Why isn’t that there? Don’t take it as criticism. Take it as them telling you this should be there. Your sign up flow should be better. Why is your contact us hidden three levels deep in settings? And for everyone who’s telling you that you’re doing it wrong or you’re crazy, just send them a bottle of champagne once you’ve made your first buttload of money.

Ryan Knuppel:

Yeah, I think what I heard out of that a little bit is don’t take offense to criticism either. I think a lot of times that’s what people that are so close to what they’re building and what their product or whatever it is, may take some offense to criticism. Like, oh, I built this and I know everything about it, but the people aren’t trying to criticize you because they hate you or hate your product. They’re probably trying to make it a little better. And there’s probably some truth to any comment that’s made. So get on my soapbox another day about that as well. But I think that was great advice that you gave there.

Alex Dubin:

So look, my first… I’ve had two exits and one horrible disastrous Hollywood wet marriage that ends in three days kind of a failure, except it lasted longer than that and cost me all my money. And I made every mistake in the world. Every single one. But one of the biggest ones was deciding that I knew exactly what the customer wanted and then deciding that we couldn’t release it until it was built and freaking perfect. And by the time we got anywhere are near there, A, we ran out of money and B, we realized that it wasn’t as fun as we thought, it wasn’t as good as we thought. And we probably would’ve realized that if we had solicited more feedback and listened to the people who were trying to tell us how to do it better rather than just saying, ah, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Ryan Knuppel:

Yes. Very true words. Well, Alex, I know you’re a busy man. This has been amazing. I’m really excited to see where BettorOff goes. And I really encourage everybody to get out there, check out the app. I’m going to try to get myself up the leaderboard as well. I’m an average picker. I’m an average handicapper. I think I can do okay. But little lightning in the bottle, maybe I can shoot my way up and find myself on that list.

Alex Dubin:

Absolutely. And BettorOff the one thing that… So it’s B-E-T-T-O-R-O-F-F. If you type in BettorOff, ER, you’re going to get some kind of health and wellness thing, which I’m all about health and wellness, but isn’t gambling more fun than health and wellness? Wouldn’t you rather download BettorOff with an O than BettorOff with an E and not have [crosstalk 00:29:29]?

Ryan Knuppel:

You’re better off with BettorOff if that makes sense.

Alex Dubin:

Okay. I don’t know what our agreement is about being able to like chop that up and use it, but you’re now our next five commercials. That’s fantastic.

Ryan Knuppel:

Yeah. That’s all right. I got a quote from you earlier, something about my girlfriend or I don’t know what you said, something about your girlfriend once you have a job or that’s the reason you started it. So I’m going to use that quote for, hey, this is why you started a product because you need to have a job. That’s awesome. Well, cool, Alex, I’ll let you go. I really appreciate your time. Everybody listening, we will put all these links and everything in the show notes. So don’t feel like you have to go off and spell BettorOff. We’ll actually have links to the apps and links to everything there. So all is good. But Alex, you seem like a great dude. I hope we can meet in person someday. I’ll be heading up New York area maybe later this month. So maybe we can connect over a coffee, a beer or lunch or something.

Alex Dubin:

Absolutely. And we’re taking my niece and nephew to Disney World in April, but don’t tell them/

Ryan Knuppel:

I won’t tell them, but hey, make sure you shoot me a ping, maybe you can sneak out because you’re going to need a little break from Disney at least an hour or two break every now and then so you can sneak out and have lunch.

Alex Dubin:

Yes, indeed.

Ryan Knuppel:

All right, my friend, thank you. This is Alex Dubin of BettorOff, any last words for the audience?

Alex Dubin:

Yeah. Is it weird for me to tell you that you’re an attractive man. I don’t even know where that’s coming from, but listeners who aren’t watching, Ryan is… Just know it. Just know it and own it.

Ryan Knuppel:

Those are the best last words I’ve had on this show. So I really appreciate it, Alex.

Alex Dubin:

All right. Take care. Talk to you later.

Ryan Knuppel:

All right, Alex, take care.

Alex Dubin:

Thanks Ryan.

Ryan Knuppel:

All right, Alex Dubin of BettorOff. Thank you so much for coming and joining and listening in. I really appreciate all the support you guys give and make sure if you have comments later on, when you’re watching this on replay, put them in any channel. I’ll make sure Alex sees them and they get back over to him so he can address those as well. That’s it. That’s all I got for today. Episode 144 is in the books. Appreciate all of you. Until next time, stay safe and we’ll talk to you soon. All right. Bye bye.

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Ryan is a veteran to the sports betting industry. He owns and operates Knup Solutions where they provide the highest quality sports betting and igaming content to affiliates and operators. His contributions on Knup Sports show his pure knowledge and love for the sports and gaming industry.

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