App from Donegal firm lets friends sidestep the bookies and bet amongst themselves

Friends wanting to place bets with each other on sporting events for fun instead of heading down the bookies and potentially losing big money have a new option thanks to an Irish company.

Donegal firm Playnbrag started out as a website where friends were able to bet against each other on 10 different live sports, with the winner taking the pot.

Thanks to the success of that model, Playnbrag launched apps where friends can play against each other for “fun, beer or cash” on the Premier League, Champions League the golf majors.

Founder Oisin Walsh said he has been working on the concept for almost four years in conjunction with a development team based in India.

Mr Walsh said it had been a long road of testing, improving and continually refining the product.

In June last year, he did a soft launch for the Euro 2016 football tournament in France, ensuring that the site was fully mobile responsive so that users could access it from their phones and tablets as well as on their computers.

He said that like many start-ups, he was met with a “rude awakening” after doing it -- the launch was somewhat successful, he said, but customers’ gravitation towards apps rather than websites was a lesson learned.

“The positives were that people loved the concept of it, and enjoyed playing it, but the downside was that I realised that the mobile site was just not going to cut it in today’s market. I vastly underestimated how much consumer behaviour had shifted to apps in recent times,” he said.

Playnbrag needed an app, he added -- and they needed to be built fast in order to get market traction.

“After doing some initial research I realised that the app versus mobile site usage on phones was a whopping 90% v 10% usage. People spend 90% of time on their mobile phones on apps they have installed,” he said.

From late last year Mr Walsh and his team went about building what he said was the perfect app for the experience.

“We wanted one that would provide the user with an effortless and seamless user experience, where users would be able to create or join a league with friends in live sport in seconds rather than minutes.

“Where they could follow each other in their league with ease on the app over the weekend, while also been able to look up live scores, results and the league table of the English Premier League on the app while watching the action unfold with their friends,” he said.

Mr Walsh said he is “quietly confident now that he has made an app that appeals to sports fans across the board”, where they can bet against friends with minimum effort and fuss, and also join public leagues.

They can also check on the latest scores, results and league table of their sport, whether it be for the Premier League, the Champions League or the golf majors.

The app is available to download now for free on the App Store or the Google Play Store.

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