Following a period of mass consolidation and sector realignment, is the betting industry still an attractive proposition for enterprise investors? A BOF expert panel assess current market conditions and challenges awaiting investment and enterprise stakeholders.
Professional venture investor Christian Elder Founder of Dreamworx Online, tells the audience that value may have diminished in the betting sector as market has become consolidated and stakeholders look for proven revenue generating assets.
Elder backs his statement, detailing that pro-investors may look to ‘fresher ground’ within new digital markets such as e-sports, where enterprises and products can be more disruptive. He further states that at present ‘betting stakeholders are not pushing for innovation’ creating a stagnant marketplace.
Mark Blandford founder of industry Venture Capital firm Valhalla Investments, counters Elder’s point of view. From a VC level he states that he is propositioned regularly by entrepreneurs wanting to disrupt the market and bring new innovation into play.
Blandford details that Valhalla will only review start-ups with a proven point of concept. As expected standards will vary in enterprises seeking investment, but Blandford is adamant that innovation can thrive in betting pointing to consumer engagements in other markets through personalisation and mobile delivery
As COO of FTSE-listed GVC Holdings, Shay Segev is well aware of the pressures facing executive teams of leading operators. Though the industry has seen mass consolidation, Segev adds cautions to stakeholders detailing that a poor acquisition can be costly and can lead to loss of market share.
Segev states that stakeholders have to be diligent in their review of assets and targets, assessing whether an enterprise can really add value to a firm’s operations.
As investment manager in private equity group Penta Investments, Marek Smrha backs Segev comments on reviewing assets. However, he further details that investors have to be more intricate with their targets.
Whilst many investors place a high emphasis on technology and operational gains, Smrha states that in an international market such as betting, investment stakeholders have to gauge whether the target company really understands its regional consumer and local market.