But for a company whose services touch both operator and supplier, where should the product development process start – with the buyer or the seller? Will esports remain a key part of the puzzle in 2022 and beyond? And why has consolidation in the industry changed its outlook for the future? Betbazar CEO Alex Iaroshenko tells us more.
SBC: Congratulations on Betbazar’s rebrand! Can you talk us through what you hoped to communicate with this new look?
AI: We’ve developed well as a sales house over the past few years, but now we’re all about moving towards becoming a platform that connects buyer and seller. The way we envisage ourselves in the future is as an ecosystem that caters to a wide variety of our betting and gaming partners’ needs. Xiaomi is a good example of a company that does this well in their industry. They are a completely closed shop, providing everything from hardware to software and even cars now. The companies that can create this kind of ecosystem are the ones that have a grasp on the future and this is how we want to exist in the entertainment world. This will position us well for the next 10 years of digital evolution and capture that direction perfectly. That forward-thinking approach is what we hope we have communicated in our rebrand.
SBC: The iGaming industry has had to change a great deal in the past two years. In what ways, if any, has this informed your rebrand?
AI: In the past two years or so, the industry has become far more concentrated in a few core global companies like Betsson, Flutter, Kindred, Entain and DraftKings. The sector has seen a great deal of consolidation and our aim is to take a step away from this and look to diversify our services. Betbazar serves the majority of the industry’s tier one brands, but we also want to look beyond this and expand upon our specialisation of esports. KYC, for example, is something that goes far beyond gaming, and we can serve fintech companies in this way. A number of payment providers are now available through us, so we wanted a brand that communicated that we can offer these services to gaming and betting companies, but not only to them.
SBC: Esports particularly saw substantial growth during this time. Has Betbazar’s investment into the esports scene impacted on this rebrand?
AI: First and foremost, we connect companies with the best possible product to meet their specific needs and this is what has informed our look. That being said, esports has been a massive part of what has driven our fantastic growth over the past year and a half. It has been indicative of how effective we were at consistently matching the ideal product and company. So, from a design and creative point of view, it is fair to say that the world of esports has certainly influenced our look and feel. It will remain a key part of our services, but we recognise that that evolution is all about expanding and growing what we can offer. It is one of the many solutions we offer, and it will continue to be a big focus for us but we look forward to expanding upon this.
SBC: Betbazar has said it will focus its rebrand on promoting its core values of ‘speed, innovation and the search for best-in-market partners’. As it is such a cornerstone of your business model, what is Betbazar’s approach to striking up and maintaining these partners?
AI: We do this through continually adding value. Once a partner is in our ecosystem, we identify what they need and find the perfect product to fulfil those needs and target any pain points they have. We might have a lot of success with a company around content, but they may still need help in improving their KYC or attracting the attention of Gen Z or of new players in general. This value-added approach has been the main factor in maintaining our customers’ loyalty. It’s no longer enough to be reactive to a partners’ needs, proactively offering the right solution is what our partners have come to expect.
SBC: This follows Betbazar’s identification of Efootball and other esports as an effective replacement for sport during the pandemic and we saw these products flourish during the major football tournaments this summer. What are the next steps for Efootball? How can this momentum be maintained?
AI: I was at Betting on Sports Europe in London and this conversation came up on all the esports panels. Everyone agreed that this will be the next big thing and recognised that it will maintain its popularity. It probably won’t continue to grow at the rate that we have seen over the past year, but it has certainly cut out its niche in their suite of products. The days of growth with any promotion are over, however. There are those sceptics who would say that Efootball was only popular because of the pandemic. It’s true to say that it grew because there were no live sports for people to enjoy, but that audience has remained engaged with it since live sports events have returned. It’s now the job of bookmakers to identify whether their segmented demographics like this product. It is also an important lesson in the importance of being ahead of the curve. There were many that didn’t invest in Efootball during that time that would have gained massively from it and some that still haven’t that continue to miss out on its benefits.
SBC: Given the degree of change the industry has seen and the wide variety of products Betbazar offers, what should operators be investing in to ensure success for 2022?
AI: It’s all about engagement, engagement, engagement. We know the basics – we need to concentrate on creating products with quick results and low learning curves. The main value is maintaining the player’s attention. Our industry is competing with other tech-based entertainment services like Netflix, YouTube and TikTok. What makes this sector different is the fun of winning, that’s our USP and whatever we offer to compete with an evening’s home entertainment always needs to deliver upon that.
SBC: With this all-new look established, what are the next steps for Betbazar?
AI: Our next steps will be focusing on creating the ecosystem that will make our business the ultimate ‘bazar’ for companies to consistently find the optimal product and for suppliers to meet the right operators. We’re greatly expanding our products and services to serve multiple areas of entertainment. We have been very successful as a sales house, but now we’re looking to expand and develop our ability to be a company that can instantly match supply and demand. We are always met with the dilemma of whether we start with the buyer or the seller. It’s very much a chicken and egg conundrum and the correct answer is both! We look forward to further optimising this process as we head into 2022.