This week USBR.com got the chance to ask 5 quick questions to Claude Elharrar, CEO and co-founder of DFS trading platform TradeFan. Elharrar has a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Masters of Science in Physics (High Energy) from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
What is TradeFan? What makes it different from other platforms?
Elharrar. TradeFan is a Daily Fantasy platform where you can trade your players in real time. It transforms Daily Fantasy from a passive game to a truly immersive and active second-screen option for players that want to stay engaged with the in-game action through real-time trading.
Think about TradeFan as a stock market for fantasy sports. If your starting running back pulls a hamstring in the first quarter, you aren’t penalized for an injured player; you can trade them. If your point guard isn’t scoring at the rate they normally do, you aren’t stuck with an underperforming player; you can trade them. This makes the game more skills based as you are not gambling on injuries. TradeFan’s algorithm is designed to set an accurate value for the player based on their live performance, which allows the playing field to be level for both highly engaged active users and passive ones.
Based off the feedback from your users, what capabilities do you feel fantasy players are clamoring for?
Elharrar. Our customer feedback is stellar, and we ask for a lot of feedback so we can create one of the most immersive user experiences out there. One piece of user feedback really stood out to us. Since our users are incredibly active during in-game play, making trades and not passive like the majority of DFS platforms, they wanted a way to talk strategy, smack-talk and generally engage with the other active users. We have since constructed an internal social media platform so TradeFan users can communicate and engage with each other.
Those that are complacent with how their game performs will be left behind
We have message and leader boards that help showcase and encourage competition between our users. Users can also follow other users for updates and to engage with them in-game. On any other platform you just see that you’re playing against a group of anonymous people. We’ve broken down that barrier to create one of the most interactive platforms on the market. And our user satisfaction and retention shows that they appreciate it.
Our users love the gameplay, engagement, navigation and the whole experience as a whole. We can attest to that by the fact that our active players have played 27% of available tournaments for the past year for very small prizes. In other words, this game is so engaging for them that they play even without the wager aspect. Our prizes will grow larger as we roll out the paid version of TradeFan out to larger audiences and geographies.
The fantasy sports and sports betting landscape are becoming crowded very quickly, what is going to separate companies that find success vs. companies that don’t?
Elharrar. Innovation and self-disruption need to be core foundations of the company. It’s the same way Daily Fantasy Sports transformed the classic fantasy model from a season long game to a daily adventure where you have the possibility to create a new line-up every day. That monumental idea disrupted a legacy way of thinking and is now a billion-dollar enterprise. Those that are complacent with how their game performs will be left behind. TradeFan took that to the next level and allows the possibility to trade every second of the game which disrupts the model once more in terms of gameplay and business model.
Daily Fantasy Sports transformed the classic fantasy model from a season long game to a daily adventure
Another way that companies can stay competitive is to seek ideas and points of view from outside sources. Having perspective and hiring people from outside of the sports industry can help provide a much-needed fresh look at process, needs and gamesmanship.
As new states create laws that allow DFS and then further down the road allow sports betting, what is TradeFan’s strategy to influence users?
Elharrar. TradeFan is perfectly suited to transition its users to the betting side because players are conditioned to trade and adapt to market conditions. The future of betting is moving toward in-game betting which is precisely within TradeFan’s user experience and game model.
What are TradeFan’s goals for 2020?
Elharrar. The first goal is to launch the brand to a larger audience. We have spent the past five years perfecting our proprietary algorithm and user experience. This singular focus has allowed us to hone in on making the best game possible. Now that we feel the platform is ready for prime time, we can devote resources to growing our user base.
The second goal is to offer TradeFan as a white label solution to DFS and sports betting platforms by the fall. Our game model of allowing users to trade players during a live game makes TradeFan the ultimate immersive second screen experience. We are currently working with media companies to white label the TradeFan platform to act as their second screen app for branding, customer acquisition and retention.