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Betfair Strengthens U.S Presence via Social Network Stake

27th October 2009 9:00 am GMT

Continuing to cement its position in the U.S. market, online betting exchange Betfair has concluded a multi-million dollar investment in U.S-based Watercooler Inc, a leading developer of fan communities and social games with more than forty million registered users.

Watercooler provides an extensive network of online fan communities around sports and TV entertainment to popular social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, Google, Bebo, Friendster and hi5, attracting more than 40 million registered users worldwide since 2006.

Following the closing of the US$5.5 million Series B funding round, Watercooler will use the investment to fund further development of fantasy sports and social games on Facebook and other platforms.

"Our investment is further proof that Betfair believes the fantasy sports market is a tremendous opportunity in the U.S and around the world," said Gerard Cunningham, President of Betfair U.S.

"Watercooler's strong team and its proven ability to execute an innovative approach to social networking and sports, is extremely compelling as we continue to build Betfair's global portfolio of sports and social media offerings."

Betfair led the funding round which included investment from existing investor Canaan Partners. As part of the agreement, Betfair's U.S President, Gerard Cunningham, will join the Watercooler board.

"At Watercooler, we've already achieved fantastic momentum in the social gaming space on Facebook, and we look forward to continuing along that path with the new investment from Betfair and Canaan," said Kevin Chou, CEO of Watercooler.

"Betfair's innovative approach to sports and gaming, along with its strong international presence, made the company a perfect fit as we continue to build innovative social games."

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