In an interview for USB.mk, BtoBet’s VP of Finance Yossi Kwart speaks about opportunities arising for the company after NeoGames’ recent acquisition of the Aspire Global Group, business growth and future plans.
Mr. Kwart, these are exciting times for BtoBet. The Aspire Global Group you are a part of was recently acquired by the global electronic lottery giant NeoGames. This is a serious strategic decision. What opportunities does this acquisition open for BtoBet?
These are indeed exciting times for BtoBet and our sister company Pariplay within Aspire Global, with whom we now operate under the NeoGames umbrella. I believe that the acquisition of the group by this leading iLottery supplier is an excellent strategic decision with numerous advantages for the group as a whole, but also individually for each of the companies. BtoBet’s technologies and services will allow NG to provide a cutting-edge sportsbook solution to their partners, whilst at the same time opening many opportunities for BtoBet in the form of new partnerships in new markets.
Over the last decade NeoGames has positioned itself as the leader in the online lottery market in North America. The company has gained incredible success, vast knowledge and perhaps most importantly, a powerful network of connections, both in local and other global markets. By becoming an integral part of this group of companies, using the expertise and knowledge and unique offer of each of the companies, it is promising that BtoBet will be further strengthened in the near future.
It is important to mention that this decision also opens great opportunities for our personnel who get the opportunity to exchange knowledge with other industry veterans and work in a multicultural environment with the group comprising of over 1000 professionals in ten different countries around the world.
You were recently appointed VP of Finance at BtoBet. What are the first impressions? Your primary focus in the short term in your new role?
Since joining a few months ago I got and still am getting to know more in-depth the company. BtoBet, through its talented and dedicated employees, has been doing a great job in growing and creating long-term value for its partners.
Repeatedly the company has reached new heights in terms of revenue in each financial quarter. However, a rapid growth also presents challenges. What is important is to successfully overcome them by maintaining stable financial performance, and for this a clear strategy is necessary. Entering new markets naturally entails new investments, mostly related HR infrastructure. Our advantage in this regard is our belief that considers employees as the most valuable capital in which we certainly continuously invest.
In terms of headcount, BtoBet has grown by over 60% since June last year. Most companies in the growth phase must look at the trade-off between profitability and investment in growth. What is your view on this?
There is always the dilemma between investment and profitability. Headcount is the largest expense in most organizations. My view on this is that any growth must be monitored and accompanied by a clear strategy. BtoBet is making significant investments in its products, and we can see a direct correlation between any improvements or new feature developed by our teams on the company’s revenues. I think this is also another opportunity to mention that BtoBet sees its employees as its most valuable asset, hence, we make significant investments in many areas related to the employees’ wellbeing. As of today, alongside competitive salaries, we are offering employees opportunities to further their knowledge and education, different fitness benefits, and professional workshops. Alongside all the tangible benefits of working at BtoBet, our employees and even potential employees express a high level of interest in the opportunity to work in a company which uses the latest software development technologies and tools.
BtoBet is considered the leading provider of sports betting software in Latin America and Africa, whilst at the same time enjoying a growing presence in Europe. What’s next for the company?
In recent years BtoBet has especially strengthened its position in Latin America and Africa and is now considered one of the main providers for all those operators who want to expand or build their presence in these markets. At the same time, especially during the past months, we have established a strong presence in the mature European market whereby we are present in several jurisdictions through our partnership with top-tier operators.
Furthermore, we clearly expect to see BtoBet enter the North American market, both the US and the newly regulated Canadian market, whilst keeping its leadership stance in Africa and Latin America by further expanding its presence.
Nonetheless it needs to be highlighted that prior to entering new markets, the product needs to be adapted to reflect the local market requirements. And this is what BtoBet is constantly doing. As we speak today, we are dedicating significant resources towards localizing our product to match the requirements in the US. The product for operating in the US is very different than the product offered in Europe, LatAm, and Africa. Having said this we are planning further major investments in order to prosper in each of our markets. I am confident that the constant enhancement of our product will strengthen BtoBet’s position as a leading and global B2B sportsbook supplier.
Lastly, the World Cup as one of the biggest sporting events is a special opportunity for BtoBet as the world’s leading provider of sports betting software, especially in this year’s unique format. In your opinion, what are the key factors that operators should focus on in order to maximize the potential and opportunity to generate record numbers of bets, drive player acquisition, retention and engagement even after the cup?
The World Cup is by far one of the biggest sporting events on the sporting calendar, and that’s simply due to the fact that countries all over the world are trying to lift the much-coveted trophy. The interest in the championship will undoubtedly generate a high volume of betting and provide operators with the perfect scenario to acquire new players, retain loyal punters, but also to reactivate those who are currently inactive. But what makes this year’s World Cup particularly attractive is that, unlike all previous editions, it will be held in November, starting just a week and a half after the regular domestic football leagues break, which will continue for just eight days after the finals. Maximizing the potential in such unique circumstances is led by the strong offer of the operators, adapted to the needs of their players. And that is what BtoBet proffers. A robust and flexible sportsbook platform coupled with a leading offering stemming from the best in breed data and content feeds. Expectations for this World Cup are high, and we are fully intent on assisting our partners maximising this opportunity.