Alexandr Iaroshenko, CEO of the industry’s matchmaker, Betbazar, discusses the importance of choosing the right partner, as well as the key trends shaping supply and demand in the industry right now. Hint – Esports is set to do particularly well!
To introduce Betbazar to our readers, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
The idea for Betbazar came to me after working with BetGenius for eight years, I gained a great deal of insight into the needs of the modern sports betting company.
Quite often, the real challenge for suppliers is to understand feedback from the operator and it was our vision to be a company that can solve those issues by connecting the right operators and the right suppliers together. The industry needs a matchmaker that can identify each company’s potential and connect them to their mutual benefit. Our aim is to be a go-to expert on what suppliers are on the market, what products are available and what can be found beyond the face value.
Our supplier partners have everything operators need to hand. We span engagement, odds feeds, KYC processes and platforms with a view to expanding on this, all with unmatched efficiency from our vast understanding of the sector. The potential for synergy with this business model is limitless.
How does Betbazar fit into the overall gaming ecosystem? What can you bring to the table for suppliers and operators as a ‘matchmaker’?
We dig deep into what a company offers and identify its pain points. We figure out where it could be stronger and present a solution that is actually relevant for them. When a business has been working with the same product for a number of years it can be easy to get complacent and not try different approaches that could work better. There is so much noise in the industry with everyone offering solutions, but more often than not these aren’t the right fit for your company and its challenges. We cut through the noise and hand over the correct partner for a specific solution. You can never underestimate the power of having an outside consultant’s view on how to improve your processes.
When we first got started, it actually surprised us to learn that this isn’t just a problem for small companies, but for big ones too. It is easy for a business of any size to fall into this kind of rut. Our success, especially in the last year has inspired a strong sense of trust from our partners. This has been essential for growing our business and has allowed us to forge reliable long-lasting business relationships between operators and suppliers.
Take us through the Betbazar process – how does the process work and how can you help generate true operational success for your partners?
Our process has a two-pronged approach, with the first being situational. If we take last year as an example, when COVID hit there was a definite need for an eagle eye of the industry and we were prepared to offer this. We helped companies to adapt and scale quickly and get back to innovating rather than being stagnant during that period. What became clear was that amid so much uncertainty, there was a great deal of opportunity given the quality of the research and data that we had to hand. As a result, Betbazar grew 400% during this period.
The second approach is geographical. We analyse regions and locations based on what’s needed in those specific locations. We have had a lot of success in CIS and Europe, but we’ve also identified markets that are of strong interest including LatAm and the US. As well as that, we’re keeping an eye on Asia and looking forward to seeing more regulation there.
We then assemble a portfolio of products that work for each region and liaise with our international network of experts who help identify challenges and advise on rollout. All the while, we are in constant contact with our clients to finetune the offering so we’re able to propose a real silver bullet solution.
Given the last 12 month’s events – how essential do you see it to have companies like yours that can truly match interested parties together?
When the pandemic started, operators needed solutions fast. We had our understanding and perception of how sports punters would react to the lack of sport. With this in mind, we immediately identified products that could work and solve those issues, including Esports.
We knew Esports would be a great performer with high-velocity action that could keep the excitement going and filling the sports gap. Many clients were toying around with the idea of Esports for years but not really getting anywhere. We saw the Esports phenomenon coming and when our clients decided that was the route they wanted to go down, we were able to set them up with Esports solutions immediately. We made sure that revenue kept coming in and this challenging time became a very lucrative one for our clients.
While I obviously can’t say too much about exact operations, it is fair to say that we were key to the rise in Esports over last year. So much so, it’s one of the reasons we enjoyed a record-breaking 400% annual growth and why so many of our clients see us as a true guiding light now.
What are you seeing in terms of trends and demand for products? With the industry evolving so rapidly at this time, what’s key for supply and adoption?
Well, given what we have seen in the last year, I think that Esports is here to stay. In fact, I think it will be key in many corners of the industry. There is plenty of room for development and growth.
As we are committed to diversifying our products, Esports will certainly play a big role in that development as we branch out. We are also assembling a new armoury of products that power engagement and retention – and which I believe will offer a serious boost to any operator looking to capitalise on this summer’s action.
Looking to the future – our vision is to cover the full sports betting ecosystem, applying different platforms to our offering and payments, in particular, will be integral to that expansion. Start-ups and industry disruptors are one area we find especially interesting. Helping these businesses to scale their product and taking their vision to the market is an exciting prospect for us.
How much is the changing regulatory environment across Europe going to affect how operators procure and integrate third-party products?
Esports is still in its infancy so we’re expecting to see enhanced regulations around that area and looking out for ways that we can upgrade. Regulators are still only starting to understand how it works from a betting perspective. There is yet to be a great deal of evolution in this market and our products will help our partners navigate restrictions will engaging players.
Ukraine is a good example of how Esports has already evolved, as it was recognised as an official sport. This development with federated teams allows us to approach whole new areas where we can offer solutions – and I’m very excited by the scope that can be achieved.
Another challenge we are investing plenty of energy into at the moment is that live-betting is being restricted in France and Spain with punters being unable to bet on the next 15 minutes of live-action. We’re working hard to put together a list of engaging products that circumvent that given how profitable high-velocity and instantaneous betting are becoming – while also ensuring we stay regulation-friendly.
Last but not least, what products do you see being in hot demand this summer and beyond by your operator partners? What should our readers be keeping an eye on?
From what I can see, the market has passed the COVID challenge. We’re now past the reaction stage and now it’s time to find new ways to engage and excite customers this summer.
My advice would be to look for suppliers that can make you agile, more engaging and faster. Our supplier Betegy is a good example of this. They’re able to deploy AI to completely automate global marketing campaigns, which saves the likes of Parimatch days in operational time. Such actions can truly revolutionise a company’s operations and make them a market leader.
KYC is another area that is important to invest in. No customer wants to wait days before they get their winnings. The end customer will only ever be satisfied with instant payment in this case so we’re working hard to ensure payments can be processed in 15 mins at the latest. This will always help companies to prosper.