Betfect founder Giacomo Alpago tells Gambling Insider just how far the integrated social and sports betting start-up has come in a short space of time
What is Betfect?
Betfect is a social betting network, which allows customers to place, share and copy bets within the community, using integrated bookmakers. At the moment we have Ladbrokes and William Hill live on our network.
Where did the idea for Betfect come from?
The idea came from wanting to bring back the social element into sports betting. Before the introduction of new technologies, such as the internet and mobile applications, and the switching of the sports-betting industry from offline to online, betting was much more of a social activity. We wanted to bring users back to socialising while they are placing bets, taking what’s offered by forums, Twitter and alike, and putting those social and betting aspects in one place. Since I started working on Betfect, one thing that convinced me that all this was possible was the eToro model. If eToro have managed to do what they are doing in the social financial trading segment, we believe there is an even bigger market in the sports-betting segment, because of the nature of this community that is always sharing tips and knowledge related to sport.
How have you been getting the service out there?
So far we have been promoting Betfect organically, through the user base. Our first year was focused on product development, building up the product with our users, through beta-testing, focus groups, and interviewing our customers – building up a product that our customers are looking for.
How does the competitive aspect of social betting work?
The aim of Betfect is to bring people together to share their knowledge and insights related to sports betting. All the activities are done internally as part of the website, from opening an account with a bookmaker, depositing and withdrawing, to the actual placing of a bet. Users can place bets, interact, participate in competitions and share those bets with one click.
Take us through Betfect Talk. How does it link up with the rest of Betfect’s offering?
At Betfect, we wanted to have a dedicated page, basically a channel, to interact with our user base and for communication between our users. The idea was initially to provide a forum for sports betting that all users can have access to, and where people can put questions to the community, while we also use it as a customer service channel.
How much of a step forward for Betfect are your partnerships with Ladbrokes, and more recently William Hill?
Huge. Going forward our aim now is to go mobile, so we are working on an iOS and Android application. It is crucial in 2016 to be active on mobile as well as desktop. We are also working on new integrations, adding new bookmakers and new services. For example, we are looking at a live score solution, in order to give our users statistics and data related to games, and to give them a place where they can check and monitor all their betting activity in one place.
How much of a concern is it that everything being shared could discourage the most successful users?
Every time you place a bet through Betfect, you have the option to make it private or public. At the same time, we are working on new features to give an incentive to top punters – so it can be a game on top of regular sports betting. If you are good at it, and you allow the community to take advantage of your knowledge and your insights, you are going to be the better off for it. There are no specifics just yet as to what these features are, but it is something we are working on.
How important are your blog and newsletter? Are you hoping to create a platform for and of sports betting tipsters?
I think the blog is key. It provides a place where sports bettors and the sports-betting community can talk and write about their opinions on what’s happening in the world of sport, and their opinions on the goings on in the world of sport.