THE LAST of FanDuel’s five founders has now left the daily fantasy sports company and is joining forces with its former chief executive Nigel Eccles to launch eSports firm Flick.

Rob Jones, who was head of design at FanDuel, said he decided to leave the company at the end of last year following the departure of Mr Eccles and chief product officer Tom Griffiths.

Their resignations came after the business’s private equity backers took control of the firm in the wake of its failed merger with rival DraftKings, with Mr Griffiths planning to start a new venture in the artificial intelligence space.

As former technology head Chris Stafford and marketing director Lesley Eccles had left the business in 2016 that meant Mr Jones was the only one of FanDuel’s founders still at the firm.

“I decided to leave before Christmas after seeing Nigel and all the other co-founders leaving too,” Mr Jones said.

“The question for me was do I build something myself or with one of the others.

“I was hoping to take some time off but then Nigel approached me and said he wanted to build something in Edinburgh.”

Although Mr Eccles is remaining in the US, where he has been based since 2016, Mr Jones has come on board as Flick’s chief product officer and will be responsible for hiring a team for the firm in Edinburgh.

At the end of last year Mr Eccles said that he wanted to build the engineering team for his new business in Scotland because it has “some of the best software engineers in the world and deep talent in games development”.

With Flick launching today, Mr Jones is now looking to hire between five and six engineers to help him create the firm’s first product.

Unlike fantasy sports, which makes its money by charging users an entry fee to create fantasy teams that compete against each other based on the performance of actual players, eSports companies charge spectators to watch other people play video games.

“The first time round with FanDuel, the market we were looking at - daily fantasy sports - was relatively small,” Mr Jones said.

“This time we’re going for an extremely large market - eSports - and we want to make something that is more social.

“We’re excited to be going back to the beginning again - for me that was the most exciting bit at [FanDuel].”

Mr Eccles and Mr Jones, who remain shareholders in FanDuel, are providing the initial funding for Flick although Mr Jones said they would be looking to raise capital in the near future.

While the business may seek to raise a few hundred thousand pounds via a seed round, Mr Jones said it was likely they would go straight to a series A round of “a couple of million”.

Reflecting on his departure from FanDuel, Mr Jones said it was “the right time to transition and build something new”.

“It was emotional leaving the family that we’d built over such a long time - I’d hired everyone in Edinburgh and Glasgow,” he said.

“But in software development it’s not very often that someone will stay for 10 years. It felt like the right time.”