FSB Technology (FSB), a sports betting and turnkey platform provider that has been growing and developing for 10 years now, prides itself on being the industry’s best, most modern and scalable sports book technology.
With a unique expertise on live data and handling live data feeds, FSB is and has always been 100% focused on regulated markets and after receiving a 23 million GBP investment from Clairvest, considers themselves a one-of-a-kind solution for the regulated U.S. market.
“The Clairvest investment’s been fantastic for us”, revealed David McDowell, CEO and Co-Founder of FSB.
“I spent quite a bit of time in 2017, 2018, trying to raise growth capital trying to get the company to a scale which was attractive enough to bring in that growth capital and at the same time, Clairvest, which had a billion dollar private equity fund, was looking to invest into sports betting”, he shared.
Historically, Clairvest distributed about half of their investments into land-based gambling companies in North and South America, but they were looking for more exposure into online gambling and sports betting specifically and identified FSB as the ideal partner.
“I think we came together at exactly the right time”, McDowell said.
“Now that we do have some of that growth capital available to us, its really the first time I’m able to invest into an international business development team. Its also the first time that we’re really starting to invest into and roll out our retail products, so that helps us turn from an online-only provider to an omni-channel solutions provider”, he shared.
“And at the same time, the investments into the quantity and using the data that we have coming off our system in real time. That for me is one of the most exciting areas that we’re investing into with some of this growth capital that we’ve got”, McDowell added.
Expanding into new markets is one of FSB’s main goals for 2020, including markets such as Africa and also the U.S., a highly complex market due to the state-by-state roll out. However, McDowell is confident FSB’s technology, coupled with his American heritage and expertise, are perfectly suited for navigating the choppy waters.
“I’m from Michigan, I’ve been watching [the U.S. market] slowly, patiently, over the last twenty years. I’m really keen to get back into the market. We weren’t ready two years ago when the market opened up, we just weren’t of a size that we could be taken seriously”, he explained.
According to McDowell, there’s a lot of “buyer’s remorse” in the regulated U.S.-facing gambling industry due to hasty partnership agreements in an effort to get to market quickly. Now that American companies know a bit more about online sports betting and online gaming on a platform level, they are ready to make more informed decisions.
“I think the challenges that we’re seeing right now are that some of the buyers who went with this European online technology and were disappointed with what they’ve gotten, are now a little bit shy of anything that doesn’t look like its been home grown”, explained McDowell.
“I think one of the things that frustrates me is getting painted with the same European brush that some of our competitors have been painted with and I think the thing that makes us different is we’re a U.K. company and I don’t think what that means really comes across in America yet”, he said.
For those who have been working in the gambling industry for some time now, we all know the U.K. is one of the most highly regulated – if not the most highly regulated – market in the world. McDowell also pointed out how horse racing is important in the U.K. market, meaning risk management tools have to be significantly better than football betting focused, grey market operators.
“There are reasons why a U.K. firm is fundamentally different than a European firm. We’re not a grey market operator, we’re not a football-only specialist, we’ve built a very complex system which is designed to handle live data feeds coming from any different supplier in the market”, explained McDowell.
“We’ve built a system which can be distributed with knowledge of the Wire Act, how you can distribute a platform in every state and have centralized control over various data feeds, distribute different margin strategies into different states where they might have different taxation or they might have a different collection of markets that are available”, he said.
“Its important to be able to control locally but then pull all your data back centrally for risk management. And again, that’s an architecture that I’m just not sure many people have thought about and I think we might be the only company that’s actually designed our system from day one to be distributed like that”, McDowell said.
“I think that’s one of the things that makes FSB special is an awareness of what the market looks like and how technology can be used to be implemented in the market properly”, he added.