• Post published:December 14, 2021
  • Post category:esports / News

Circl, a new ‘live-action’ social betting app, has launched to make watching sports fun, inclusive and accessible to all, after closing a £375,000 pre-seed funding round.

Circl is a game for friends to play during live in-play sports matches, where the winner is decided by multiple events on the pitch.

will & mark
Image: Will & Mark


The Manchester-based start-up has launched Circl on the Apple iOS store and Google Play store following £375,000 of pre-seed investment, led by Dutch Sport Tech Fund, combined with various Angel Syndicates.

The sports tech start-up was created to change the way the world watches and bets on live sport. The unique ‘Circl’ game currently allows up to 10 users to play against each other to win a pool of money deposited by the group. The gaming mechanism is based on real-time events during the match, which are given their own scoring system. This allows for the pot of money to move around the Circl, rather than be awarded solely based on the final outcome.

Will Hawkins, CEO of Circl, said: “Circl has the ability to turn any match into a thriller. It was created by accident when I was watching a boring game of live football with a bunch of friends who didn’t like football! So, we decided to make a sociable sports betting game for friends that would create and maintain interest throughout the match. Rather than have your bet depend on the final result, Circl uses in-match events such as goals, cards, corners, VAR or offsides to create tension about which of your friends will win the money. This unique type of sports betting experience can be followed by everyone, no matter their understanding of the sport and is a game of chance rather than skill.”

The Circl app gamifies the live match beyond its score, pitting friends and family against each other, rather than against a bookmaker. A group of friends or family create their “Circl”, and each deposit money into a central jackpot. As events happen during the match, the jackpot shifts around the “Circl” and is awarded to the person who has it at the end of the game. This puts the winnings back into the hands of one of the group’s players.

circl stadium

Will Hawkins, continued:  Circl is for everyone, from savvy sports betters to first-timers. We want to make the spectacle of a live game even better and increase the feeling of inclusion for those with no allegiance to, or interest in, the teams playing. Whilst we are starting with the world’s most popular sport football, we cannot wait to bring Circl to other sports, and even e-sports.”

Circl also wants to help the members of the footballing community that need it most and will donate a proportion of its profits to men’s and women’s grassroots football in the UK, reinvesting in the sport which has suffered over the past 18 months.

Will Hawkins, continued: “We want to distance ourselves from the stigma of betting. Circl aims to boost social inclusion through ‘low buy-in’, group-based participation, rather than the exclusion and addiction that traditional forms of betting often generate. Circl’s innately social concept will power growth in a competitive market at a fraction of the typical acquisition cost seen in this space.”

The Circl leadership team consists of founder and CEO Will Hawkins, CTO Mark Quinn and CFO Eddie Ross. Will was formerly a product manager at Push Doctor and AccessPay, Mark was Director of Engineering at Mojo Mortgages, and Eddie was Head of Mobile at SkyBet. Circl has also taken on two new members of staff in social media and customer service roles.

Circl is part of the Exchange, a digital and technology start-up support programme, located at Department Bonded Warehouse in Enterprise City. This scheme supports and empowers the next generation of UK start-ups, giving them a city-centre workspace, the tools they need to scale their businesses, a peer-to-peer network of founders and expert advice from industry partners.

Circl now aims to raise up to £2 million in Seed funding in the next 12 months to allow the business to scale, support an increase in headcount across developer, product and customer-facing disciplines, and enable them to grow into US and other European countries.

To find out more about Circl and its app, visit its website www.playcircl.com.