SiGMA Americas looks at investing in LATAM


As an emerging market, LATAM is a hot topic when it comes to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A). That likely won’t change anytime soon, so Eman Pulis, founder of the SiGMA Group, moderated a panel with Susan Breen, Partner at Mishcon de Reya, Andre Gelfi, Managing Partner at Suaposta, Cristina Romero, Partner at Loyra to discuss how to navigate the market.

From a broad perspective, Breen noted that LATAM is seeing investment, large and small, but those getting in early expect to do better. “We are seeing a hedging position really against Europe, possibly Asia, and a choice between Africa, the U.S. and LATAM coming into play,” he said. “Early adopters in the market always do well, and I think there are a slew of both operators B2B providers and investors who are watching and waiting. And I think the watching and the waiting is largely about how profitable and successful could they make a market entry into one of those LATAM jurisdictions.”

sigma-americas-looks-at-investing-in-latamRomero agreed, and noted that if you are looking into the LATAM market, it’s best to make some local friends first. “One thing that both operators and also financial investors are looking at is always have a local partner, even if it’s just a minority, because it’s really important to understand the region.”

Betsson did just that when they acquired 75% of Suaposta. Pulis asked Gelfi what they plan to do now that they are working with the Swedish operator. “We are going to launch a proprietary platform here for horse racing, we are beefing up our payment methods, we are we are starting with some marketing initiatives in the short term,” he said. “So at the end of the day we are beefing up the whole value proposition for Brazil; because of the partnership with Betsson. That’s pretty much what we are doing anticipating the opening of the market.”

One of the headaches of investors already in the market has been payment methods, and Pulis wondered if emerging blockchain solutions, like Bitcoin SV, might solve that. Breen didn’t have a specific answer, but she agreed that payments have been a problem. “I think some clients have underestimated the payments infrastructure and as a result, it has slowed down,” she said. “On the whole in payments, adoption, mobile alternative payment methods, cultural issues and corruption issues are in one large bucket.”

For those who might be considering how they can improve their payment systems, CoinGeek Live, an online digital conference running from September 30 to October 2, will provide some answers. Bitcoin SV has been designed to scale to the volume that operators require while maintaining low transaction fees. Register for CoinGeek Live for free to learn all about it.

In the meantime, stay tuned to to watch Days 2 and 3 of SiGMA Americas Virtual Summit and follow our continuing coverage.