“It takes specific expertise to fit emerging markets”
Focus Gaming News speaks to COO Dima Reiderman about BtoBet’s plans for expansion and new product innovations in sports betting.
Exclusive interview.- BtoBet is looking forward to big things in 2021. With a packed sporting calendar, the company, which has become a go-to sports betting provider for African and Latin American markets, sees it as a crucial year.
It plans to strengthen its already strong position in Africa and Latin America, launch new product innovations and make a foray into Europe.
“This is a key year in the sense that there’s some big events coming up,” says Dima Reiderman, COO at BtoBet, mentioning Euro 2021, the Copa American and, hopefully, the Tokyo Olympics.
Consolidation in Africa and Latin America
Things have already picked up after the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic this year, with the market stabilising and growth starting to return. Now BtoBet plans to consolidate the presence it’s built as an expert in the African and Latin American betting arenas, where it already has more contracts in the pipeline.
“If you want to go to Africa, you have to go to BtoBet.”Dima Reiderman, COO at BtoBet.
“I believe we are now recognised as the choice of entry point,” Reiderman says. “If you want to go to Africa, you have to go to BtoBet. So I think we have a good presence there and we’re going to keep our leading position.
“In Latin America, also in the last six to 12 months we’ve been recognised as probably the choice to go to. As a testimonial to that, we have key partnerships we recently launched with names such as William Hill and BetFair and we operate today in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and additional markets.”
Expertise in emerging markets
Emerging markets are different, and that’s something that BtoBet has come to master.
“It takes specific expertise to fit to those emerging markets,” Reiderman observes. “If we look at Western Europe, everybody’s using the same iPhones, Chromes, Apples, Macs, and it’s so different when you dive into the African continent.
“To give you an example off the top of my head, one of the most popular browsers out there is Opera Mini Extreme, which is unheard of in the Western World.
“The whole idea is a solution that fits a market where data is expensive and low data is a mandatory requirement, so someone with a low-end phone should be able to perform the same actions that you or I would do on an iPhone.”
New product developments on the way for sports betting operators
BtoBet is investing heavily in its product and plans to launch new, market-first tools for its operators very soon.
“You’ll see from BtoBet in the coming year and two a heavy investment in product, not only in the sense of making it better but also a heavy emphasis on innovation,” Reiderman says.
“We intend to present some sports marketing tools and sport analysis tools that are really market firsts.”
The new tools will be exclusive to operators that join BtoBet and are based on machine-learning algorithms that the company has been working on with partners for the past few years. We can expect to see some news before the Euros, and more to follow throughout the year.
“We believe that we need to provide to our partners not only the right solution but also the competitive edge they need in the markets where they operate,” Reiderman says.
“You’ll see social betting, you’ll see tournaments in sports betting, you’ll see proactive sports marketing where there are personalised recommendations.”
We have a big focus on perfecting our product and making it really stand out in the market, while also providing exclusive tools that nobody else will be able to provide.”
BtoBet moves into Europe
As well as consolidating in its strongholds, BtoBet has plans to advance into Europe, and it’s starting with a launch in Eastern Europe just in time for the Euros.
“We’ll be launching in one of the largest Eastern European markets right before the Euros,” Reiderman reveals.
He adds: “We’ll probably use the power of the group so to speak, after being acquired by Aspire Global, which is a well-recognised name in the European market.
“We’ll be taking on Europe together with them, so we’ll be taken to the UK, we’ll be taken to the other Western European markets, consolidating our presence where we’re good already, but expanding to Europe in the short-term.”
The transition to online sports betting
Reiderman notes that the pandemic has sped up the need for retail betting operators to have a digital product, since “the option of sitting and waiting for [retail to be allowed to reopen] is not a very good option to have.”
“A lot of the traditional retail operations realised that they have to expedite and accelerate their transition process into the digital space,” he says. “We see that because we get approached by certain operators [asking], can you help us get online.”
“In some of those emerging markets, a betting shop is not only a betting shop. It’s much more.”Dima Reiderman, COO at BtoBet.
However, he says that the importance of retail betting shops in emergence markets should not be underestimated.
“In some markets where we have a good presence, like Africa, retail betting provides much more than a betting experience. In some cases, it’s a social club. People go to interact, to get a coffee, to get wifi.
“We need to remember that in some of those emerging markets, a betting shop is not only a betting shop. It’s much more.”
He adds: “The early indication of trends show is that although many punters will go back to their original betting behaviour in terms of retail, first, some have progressed into online and we see some trends where punters are now exploring both, so sometimes the actual pie of the bets is becoming bigger.
“The split between retail and online may still be there, but in some cases, the pie itself has been enlarged, which is obviously good news for our industry.”
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