The agency based at The Sharp Project digital hub, in Newton Heath, east Manchester was started by a former employee of the bookmakers, Andrew Daniels.
Speaking in the MEN’s business pages, Fred Done said he had spotted Daniels as a talent worth investing in.
He said: “Manchester is leading innovative development and I truly believe that by nurturing young talent, the city will become the digital capital of Europe.
“I identified Andrew as an amazing talent when he joined Betfred as head of mobile development two years ago. His illustrious attitude and entrepreneurial spirit really stood out. I bought into Degree 53 knowing that it will deliver an outstanding digital design and build service for every customer.”