Despite the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, DraftKings completed its first day of trading as a public company on Friday. Company shareholders of Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corporation approved a merger deal with the sports betting giant DraftKings.
The merger made DraftKings the first sports betting company to go public. After their first day of trading on the stock exchange, they traded up by 10.3%.
Their company symbol on the stock exchange is, DKNG, and now you can bet on them as a company. DraftKings shares started trading on Friday morning at $17.81 and ended the day with their shares costing $19.35, which is a gain of 10.3%.
Jason Robins is one of the co-founders of the company that launched in 2012. Robins’ share of the company is close to $170 million, and the other two founders that have shares are Matt Kalish and Paul Liberman.
The three men were friends since childhood and grew up in Boston, where DraftKings maintains its headquarters. Kalish was estimated to have $78 million and Liberman $90 million at the close of the market on Friday.
DraftKings Had Been In A Partnership With Tech Company SBTech
The big winner at the close of the market on Friday was the CEO of SBTech, Shalom McKenzie, whose shareholdings are now worth close to $700 million. In a video call, Robins discussed DraftKings going public.
He said, “The deal to take DraftKings public was in the works for a while. All the partners and their extended partners carefully thought about what it would mean and how it would affect the company and their loyal customers.”
Robbins also said that included in the deal to go public was a $304 million investment from Capital Research Management Company, Wellington Management Company, and Franklin Templeton. The company was infused with $500 million in cash to continue to roll out sports betting across America.
Robins also said that DraftKings going public occurred on the eighth anniversary of he and his childhood friends founding the company. He said it’s been such a wonderful journey to go on with his close friends, and they are very optimistic about the future of DraftKings and the sports betting industry.
Robins Recalled How The Journey Began In Massachusetts
Robins recalled how their journey began with DraftKings when the three friends started the company in Liberman’s spare bedroom. They hosted their first DFS contest on April 27, 2012.
Financial analysts weighed in on the historic move for the sports betting company. Most say that it really is quite an accomplishment what these three friends were able to do in only eight short years.
Robins will remain as the CEO of DraftKings, while Kalish will be in charge of the North American operations. Liberman will use his talents as the new president of Global Technology for DraftKings.
DraftKings got its first official investment of $1 million before the company even launched. Another friend of the three founders, Ryan Moore, attended a meeting in Liberman’s bedroom in 2011 to discuss the goals of the company. Moore was convinced before he left the room.
He said, “I knew that the company would do extremely well, especially in their hands. They were always forward-thinking people.”
Moore continued, “To me, it just made a lot of sense. We were only about five years into Facebook and Twitter at that point. People had their lives in their phones and in their hands, craving authentic content, so bringing fantasy sports into a digital platform just had a lot of promise to it in my mind.”