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Fantasy sports company opening office in Glasgow

There are staff at Car Hire Glasgow Airport who love watching American sports and are delighted one of the top fantasy sports companies has chosen their city to expand the business.

Fantasy American sports league operator FanDuel is to open its second Scottish office in Glasgow, following a record year.

Founded in Edinburgh but now head-quartered in New York, FanDuel employs 55 software engineers in the Scottish capital. It recently relocated to larger offices in Quartermile.

Set up five years ago by a group of graduates and entrepreneurs, FanDuel charges players to compete in fantasy leagues across the NFL, NBA, NHL and other US sports. Winners get cash prizes, while the company generates revenues by keeping a cut of the entry fees.

Nigel Eccles, chief executive and co-founder, said “Already some of our members are based in Glasgow, so there will be about five people working there initially, but I would hope we will get that up to something like 25 pretty quickly.”

The firm’s growth rapidly accelerated in the second half of this year, when it also closed a $70 million (£43m) funding round with venture capitalists in the US. It had 700,000 active paying users in November, versus roughly 150,000 users six months earlier.

Part of that growth has been driven by the August launch of a new iPhone app which has already had 1 million downloads. FanDuel has also started hosting live events, such as last month’s Playboy Championship in Los Angeles.