iGaming innovation focus is changing

Gamblification software and products related to e-sports and fantasy sports could be the main areas of innovation over the coming years, according to Melissa Blau, Director of iGaming Capital.

Blau will lead the judging panel of this year’s Start-Up LaunchPad at Eig 2015, where industry leaders will decide the winner of the competition between innovators. The five finalists will pitch to experts such as Mark Blandford, partner at Burlywood Capital and founder of Sportingbet, and Burckhardt Bonello, chief executive of Found Fair Ventures and founder of Mybet, at the Berlin event in October.

Blau has been involved in Start-Up LaunchPad for some years and has noted a change of focus in 2015 compared to previous years.

“There are definitely trends but they come and go so quickly it’s amazing,” Blau toldTotallyGaming.com. “For the past several years, social casino, bingo and sports has certainly dominated the number of submissions. However, this year I see the trend reversing as we certainly saw fewer social gaming companies.

“One recent trend that has been on the rise is ‘gamblification’ software where people use an RNG game to assist with point of purchase to possibly bring the price down. Other recent trends include e-sports and fantasy sports, both of which are a hot topic, especially in the US.”

Blau revealed that the short-listing process was tougher than ever this year with the selection panel “not in complete agreement” on the five finalists due to the “unbelievably high” standard. 

Eventually the quintet was chosen and includes DupZapper, a solution for detecting online fraud, and Stratagem Technologies, which offers financial technology to unlock the value of sports trading as an alternative asset class. eSportsPools.com provides fantasy league competitions within the e-sports sector, Skillzzgaming enables players to gamble on their favourite social games and Casino VR is a multi-player casino platform for virtual reality.

The five will aim to follow 2014 winner Fresh8 Gaming, the mobile technology operator whose managing director, Andrew Sharland said: “To win the LaunchPad is a badge of honour that can really add credibility to a start-up, and we found it to be a very useful experience for getting our name out into the industry.”

GamCrowd chief executive Chris North was part of the selection committee for this year’s event and, while he congratulated those that have made the final five, he said that the hard work really begins at the Arena Berlin.

North added: “The standard of entries this year has been higher than ever before. It's a great to know that there are so many ambitious people out there who want to bring new and exciting ideas to our industry.

"The finalists have done incredibly well to get this far, but they face a different challenge now in explaining to the panel what makes their idea the best. They must have all the right answers to some tough questions, but also exude the confidence that will convince the panel that they should be No.1.”

Other former LaunchPad finalists include Imperus, which acquired Diwip Technologies in a $100m (€89.4m) deal, and BlueBat Games, which was bought by Novomatic’s GreenTube.

The remaining panelists are Ian Hogg, chairman of GamCrowd, Fintan Costello, founder and managing partner of Revenue Engineers, Jean-Marc Patouillaud, managing partner at Partech Ventures and Evan Hoff, director at Velo Partners.

* EiG 2015 will take place at Arena Berlin in Germany from October 20-22. For more information visit www.eigexpo.com

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Global Media Partners