Mojo Sportsbook Exchange shifts focus to fantasy sports, lays off 20% of workforce

December 5, 2023 12:32 PM
  • Conor Murphy, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
December 5, 2023 12:32 PM
  • Conor Murphy, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States

Mojo Sportsbook, financially backed by Alex Rodriguez, has significantly changed its business strategy to shift to the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) space. The company initially aimed to introduce sports betting through a player exchange but has decided to reorient its focus towards DFS.

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As part of this shift, Mojo has laid off a fifth of its 95-strong workforce due to challenges in generating sustained user growth with its original model. The layoffs have primarily affected customer-facing divisions as the company reevaluates its business strategy.

“Regretfully, we let go of about 20% of the company. It’s certainly a sad day for our company, and we thank those talented employees for their many contributions,” a spokesperson for Mojo told Business Insider.

Founded in 2020, Mojo officially launched in New Jersey in 2022 as a regulated sportsbook. Its business model allowed users to buy and sell shares of NFL players, akin to trading in a stock market. This concept valued players’ shares based on past performances, with their stock values fluctuating based on their subsequent on-field performance.

The company successfully secured over $100 million from various investors. Notable backers include Alex Rodriguez, billionaire Marc Lore, and entities like the NFL Players Association and Thrive Capital. Lore made his fortune selling Diapers.com to Amazon, and he and Rodriguez jointly own the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

Despite its distinctive approach, Mojo struggled to attract a steady user base. To arrest the struggles, in September 2023, it launched Mojo Fantasy, a DFS game, in 19 states and Washington, D.C. This platform, covering multiple sports, incorporated Mojo’s dynamic pricing model into a more traditional fantasy sports contest format.

Like many other sports betting operators, Mojo faced hurdles due to high operational costs and competitive pressures, particularly from established players like DraftKings and FanDuel. Its transition to the DFS space comes at a time when regulators are applying increased oversight to certain operators in the industry.