The fantasy sports services industry, made up of companies that develop software and online platforms for multiplayer fantasy sports, is growing rapidly thanks to skyrocketing interest in fantasy sports and the growing number of broadband and mobile connections. Estimated to be a $1.4 billion market, the sector also benefits from growing advertising spending and an overall increase in sports viewership.
Why it’s hot: Fantasy sports site FanDuel was valued at more than $1 billion during its last investment round, in September 2014, when it raised $70 million from NBC Sports Ventures and two private equity firms, KKR and Shamrock Capital Advisors.
Skills needed: Startups in this space will need strong Web software development and other IT skills.
The downside: Fantasy sports companies require highly skilled creative types, such as software developers, which makes compensation a significant expense.
Competition: Major players include Yahoo, with 18 percent market share, followed by ESPN, at 13 percent, and CBS Corporation, at 7 percent, according to IBISWorld.
Growth: The industry is estimated to have grown 7.7 percent in 2014, and is expected to grow at an average rate of 7.3 percent annually, to $2 billion, in the next five years.
The Best Industries for Starting a Business in 2015
by Graham Winfrey