Ebbe Groes, EveryMatrix CEO, spoke exclusively to Gambling Insider about the company’s year so far, and why it has chosen to follow a business plan of specialisation.
How has the first half of the year been for EveryMatrix?
This year has been excellent. It’s been a consolidation of our current premier product, CasinoEngine, both in terms of development and new business. We are excited and I expect we will be able to announce between now and iGB Live the signing of a very large client, the biggest one yet on the casino platform. This deal follows several other tier-one clients using our casino product today.
Our business model changed as well when we left the start-up white label space a while ago, and we are happy we can focus entirely on bringing on board large operations. We are winning over established clients by selling specialised products, rather than only selling turnkey solutions. We decided to distance the company from the white label space and not compete with everyone in the business. So far, this move has paid off and it has been a very rewarding process.
Another important change we made this year is regarding our B2C operation. A few weeks ago, we announced the selling of Jetbull, which was a brand we held for a long time, almost from the start of the company. So that’s sold off, and while we have not completed it yet, we are in negotiations to also close down our white label business and to put our full focus on being a software provider. That’s quite a big shift.
How does the selling of Jetbull change EveryMatrix’s business model, and what do you hope to accomplish?
The top-performing companies in our industry are the most focused. I’ve always admired Kambi, Evolution Gaming, NetEnt and companies like this for completely staying away from platform and B2C licensing. We’ve been in those areas for a while and it has served us well, but we are now in a position which is a bit of a luxury, where we can decline this kind of business and instead work with other companies in that space. We can focus on being a pure software provider. This of course, still means licensing, but only as a software provider and not having operator licenses.
Operating in the B2C was never the plan, but when you have a brand, you do try to do well with it. I am happy we found a home for it. We have a good relationship with AMGO as they are already an existing client of ours. They bought Jetbull and have added some power to their brands. They now reap those benefits that come with having multiple brands.
When we spoke at ICE you told me your casino offering has pushed on and developed. Is that your biggest product?
Currently, CasinoEngine is our most extensive product and it has exceeded our expectations in the past year, and we expect other sides to join in. The product we expect the most from this year is our sports product, OddsMatrix. We started by building a fully managed sportsbook, but that was without a platform, purely for plugging in; in the style of Kambi, you could say. Later on, we added the platform, then came the casino and payment products we have today.
Sport is our origin and also the most complex of the products. It’s not without reason the specialists in this sector have spent quite a lot of money and have a large team on this. A couple of years ago, we started to rebuild the product from scratch to make it more competitive. When we started that project, we knew doing a new version of our sports product would be quite time-consuming. I had hoped for 18 months less than what it did take. But we’re finally there with that.
Our back-end has been ready for more than half a year and we have now migrated the first of our existing clients to a new front-end. This is, of course, an essential part of the user experience. IT gives us the ability to finally compete properly in the sports space. The first wave is migration of all clients before the start of the new football season.
This sports product is sold both as a turnkey solution and as a stand-alone product. One of the many things we did was integrate it in the same way as our casino. This makes it quite easy for clients and any of our casino clients can take this product; it has the same API managed by us. Amsterdam will be the first main conference where we start with this product and, from then on, we will build some momentum for ICE next year.
You launched your esports service at the start of the year; how has that developed since?
It’s been really good. The esports services rely on the new product we have been discussing. One of the key things for our new sports product is its smooth and effortless process of adding new markets. When you look at esports, I think we successfully created 150 new markets. This wouldn’t have been possible in the old system, especially in such a short time. When we’re out showing this product, we receive a lot of good feedback on this because of its depth of information.
It’s nice to have an esports product to be proud of, but for me it’s been most rewarding to see how we delivered a proven concept in a completely new area to us. We’ve been able to create all those markets, including automatic settlement, and everything you want in a modern sportsbook. It’s a product that really stands out for us. Luckbox is the first live client for esports, now in the public BETA stage and looking to move forward.
What we would like to do next is trying to build a cool front-end as well. Luckbox is a specialist in this, so it’s nice to work with them. They built their own front-end on the back of our sportsbook and offering them flexibility has been a key strategy for us. Luckbox is now one of two clients that have our sportsbook but with a completely different front-end. The other one is a company called Bookee that has a swipe, Tinder-esque mobile app that sits on top of our sportsbook.
Luckbox and Bookee are completely different but they both showcase bespoke front-ends built by themselves. To showcase what we have built there, it would be cool to deliver a turnkey-type, ready-to-deliver front-end for esports. Once we get through the first wave of requests from our clients on the front-end we’re launching now, that’s what we’ll turn to next.
Stian Hornsletten, CasinoEngine CEO and EveryMatrix Co-founder, said regulatory shifts in Spain will help develop your operations there. Could you give us some more detail on this?
What is happening, and that’s not specific to Spain, is that tier-ones are struggling to be technically compliant. Let’s take Reality Check, the vital UK requirement which costs a lot of people a lot of money and time. If you do this as part of the casino application, which is something we can do, then you can plug this into your own platform and then be compliant for the casino part.
You see this mix of compliance requirements, some are about the casino experience, and some are about connecting to a player database for the country. In case you are able to address the casino specific parts of requirements, then our client can rely on us to handle this. It’s a cool feature of being able to run the entire casino experience off our platform.
iGB Live is just around the corner, what can you tell us about your plans for the exhibition?
iGB Live has always been a stop for us as this conference is an excellent opportunity to meet clients, so we have a lot of our team heading there. We are eager to showcase the new sports product and to explain how our clients manage to lead the industry through technology.
We are also launching a new corporate website. Our team is currently putting it through final testing and tuning so it will be ready for Amsterdam.