The inaugural iGaming Entrepreneur Conference took place today at the Dexter House in London and it was a success. The event’s purpose was to connect entrepreneurs with investors interested in iGaming businesses and to educate both parties so they are able to make more informed decisions.
There were thirteen entrepreneur exhibitors in attendance, each granted with an opportunity to deliver one-minute pitches to on-site investors and again for the CalvinAyre.com camera, so stay tuned for the release of these video pitches in the coming weeks. The thirteen exhibitors were as follows:
–Asylum Labs: Social bingo game, presented by Jason Kaehler
Asylum Labs is a game developer offering “social 2.0” features. Their flagship product, Wild Party Bingo, has been live for one year and its focus on community and interaction has led to exceptional retention, reduced acquisition costs and overall better monitization.
–WantMyBet: Social network for football betting, presented by Olly Joshi
WantMyBet is the “eToro” of sports betting and allows users to determine where they should be putting their money. User’s tips are accompanied by stats to help players make the best decisions.
–MOWJOW: Quiz game, presented by Andreas Christensen
MOWJOW is a skill-based picture quiz game with prize and cash tournaments for players. The Sweden based company offers its services to players globally with operations and development in the UK and Ukraine.
–BlockEx: Digital asset exchange platform, presented by Adam Leonard
BlockEx was built for next generation assets allowing governments, institutions and retail trading firms to trade and issue digital assets such as Bitcoin.
–Sportego: B2B & B2C fantasy games developer, presented by Trevor Keane
Sportego focuses on generating income and fan engagement for professional sports clubs by connecting clubs with their fans. Using gaming products, Sportego coverts fans from social channels to branded cash based games.
–Sportito: Fantasy with real money daily, presented by Riccardo Mittiga
Sportito offers fantasy sports with daily games for real money using a higher frequency model. The games are integrated with social media allowing players to brag about their wins.
–FastFantasy Inc.: Next generation DFS, presented by Melissa Blau
FastFantasy has been built for B2B and B2C via mobile, retail and online channels. The games are offered as multiple/accumulator formats and offer margins greater than 30% in comparison with the less than 7% that DFS giants Draft Kings and FanDuel currently offer.
–GameMiles: Using air miles to gamble, presented by Gonzalo R. de los Rios
GamesMiles bridges the gap between loyalty programs and online gambling. Now airline loyalty members have the opportunity to use their points to play games at the gaming site of their choice or at an airline’s white-labeled gaming portal.
–Greenzorro: Investment of net losses, presented by Michael Gill
Greenzorro combines gambling with investing to minimize losses by allowing players to “keep their winnings and invest their losses”. Greenzorro transfers the net gambling losses in investment accounts at the end of each month and players can choose from 3 diversified investment portfolios.
–RankingHero: Social platform for poker, presented by Nicolas Levi
RankingHero is a community platform for iGaming verticals, starting with poker and fantasy and now diversifying with B2B white-labeling. RankingHero’s technology combines big data with user-generated content and released the first influence ranking for poker, “HeroScore”, earlier this year.
–HatchAsia: Software development company, presented by Ron Aramulo
HatchAsia is an IT and business processes management services company based in the Philippines with a focus on the Asian iGaming market. In addition to providing back office support, HatchAsia’s future plans include owning its own local iGaming outlets.
–Highlight Games: Game developer using video clips, presented by Tim Green
Highlight Games incorporates archived broadcast sports video footage including major stars and iconic commentary into their games. Flagship product “Flashback Footy” and other bespoke games enhance the existing sports gambling experience.
–PlayerIndex: Bringing sports player performance to life, Rory Jenkins
PlayerIndex facilitates a way to gamble on individual sports players over a period of time and mimics a stock market style portfolio with a social media focus. All sports players are issued a “share price” at the beginning of the season and the price will fluctuate depending on performance.
Running alongside the exhibitor and networking hall were two conference tracks, one dedicated to entrepreneurs and another dedicated to investors.
Gemma Boore, Corporate and Commercial Solicitor with Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, delivered a presentation for entrepreneurs emphasizing the importance of identifying legal requirements before attempting to turn an idea into a business.
Boore emphasized the importance of asking for costs up front so there are no surprises she said some of the areas to look at from a legal perspective include the following:
-Designs, trade marks, copyright & patents
-NDAs to protect yourself when talking with 3rd parties or anyone else about your idea
-Business communications: display of company, place of incorporation, registered office and number, sanctions- be sure to include this in communications or else fines could be issued
-Contracts, standard Ts&Cs
-Subscription & shareholders’ agreement- conditions of investment, warranties, appointment of directors
-Loan agreements, security documents
Today’s “Venture Capital: Why VC firms, incubators, accelerators and angels are looking for opportunities in iGaming” panel was a popular one and featured Mark Blandford of Burlywood Capital, Evan Hoff of Velo Partners, Crispin Nieboer of William Hill and Simon Collins of Gaming Realms.
Blandford’s best piece of advice for attracting investment was to seek professional advice from people who have already done it successfully. He said to get corporate structuring and taxation all in place before speaking with investors and to start preparing early- “don’t be frightened to use experienced professionals, they may know investors too”, he said.
Blandford also recommended having four documents ready before meeting with investors, a meeting that should last around one hour:
4)Presentation or “the pitch”- make sure its well-rehearsed and lasts between 30 and 40 minutes, allowing time for Q&A.
He emphasized the importance of being realistic with the numbers having a solid management team. “Good management solve problems, bad management create problems…if you have the right management team you will figure out the rest”, he said.
Nieboer advised start-ups to leverage every resource they’ve got and to start having conversations with investors as early as possible as opposed to two years down the line, otherwise there is a risk of getting too attached to the product.
Hoff said to be prepared for tough questions and to literally Google “tough questions investors will ask” prior to any meetings.
Collins suggested “haggling” with advisors who charge a lot of money regardless if they are able to secure funds or not, so be sure to ask for extras such as like office space and advice with presentations.