On December 4, 2023, Mojo, a sportsbook exchange financially backed by Alex Rodriguez, announced that it laid off 20% of its workforce. The company is seemingly shifting its focus away from sports betting in favor of concentrating on its daily fantasy sports product.
Mojo debuted in September 2022 as a wagering exchange that allows players to buy and sell shares of NFL players, with the tagline “Bet on sports like stocks.” Each player’s share is valued based on their past performance, and their future price depends on subsequent play. However, Mojo’s exchange failed to catch on, and the platform’s user growth was not sustained.
The company raised over $100 million in funding from A-Rod, billionaire Marc Lore, the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves owners, the NFL Players Association, and New York private equity firm Thrive Capital. Before the layoffs, Mojo had about 100 employees.
The NFL player exchange was limited to New Jersey, where it gained authorization through its partnership with Caesars Entertainment’s Tropicana Atlantic City. In September 2023, Mojo ventured into daily fantasy sports with a product built on the sportsbook’s live-trading principles. Mojo Fantasy is currently live in 19 states and Washington, DC.
The layoffs are primarily attributed to the exchange’s inability to generate meaningful, sustained user growth. The company is reportedly focusing its efforts on its DFS operations, while the sports betting exchange remains operational in New Jersey, but it appears that the firm is ready to wind down its sportsbook unit in the coming months.
The downfall of Mojo Sportsbook reflects the challenges in the sports betting industry, which expanded rapidly in the US following the May 2018 Supreme Court decision that found a federal law limiting single-game wagering to Nevada unconstitutional. DraftKings and FanDuel control the legal sports betting market in the US, benefiting from being the DFS leaders when the SCOTUS ruling was handed down. Their large consumer databases granted them considerable market share in the industry.