What feedback did you receive from visitors of recent SiGMA Malta event to the automatic trading tools and CRM solution displayed at your company’s stand?
We’ve got a very positive feedback based on two key elements: 1) it’s a small industry and it’s important how you work with partners and what results do you provide, so now it’s more the time when existing customers bring their friends and recommend our solution. I’d say more than a half of the leads on the expo got to us because some of their friends have really good results and experience working on our solution; and 2) now, you really don’t have many automated solutions in the industry, while there are still a lot of platforms. It’s like when you compare Fiat and Ferrari: both of these are the cars, even driven by the same basic principles, but when you get inside or when you see the engine and all the details, you understand it all.
Which benefits could operators receive from using your cutting-edge sportsbook platform?
The main benefit is a turnkey operation: we have the in-depth automation of everything and we have a very experienced team to oversee all the daily operations in sportsbook, risk management, antifraud and other parts. I’ve grown personally from assistant of bookmaker (even not a bookmaker in 2003) to Head of Sportsbook and COO/CEO, having my bookmaker’s path in big world brands like Expekt, Bwin, and Bet365. Throughout all these years, I have been able to gather a solid team of industry professionals who have been with me from the 2010-2014 stage. While trading/sportsbook is a blackbox for a lot of managers and investors, we guarantee that they don’t need to care about this part. We will setup and manage it and it will give a profit (we even have some contracts where Atlas financially assures profits for each month of operation). So far, all 45 operators which run on Atlas’ platform are in good plus every month, with high revenue percentage.
Your company has been strongly advancing in the Brazilian market. Besides, you have incorporated experienced executive Eddie Morales to expand into the LatAm and Iberian markets. Why is Atlas-IAC working so well in these territories?
We’ve built Atlas in a flexible way (it’s completely modular, easy to adjust for any market needs, business-wise, and in IT it’s 70+ microservices in cloud), so we have operators from all continents. For me, Brazil and LatAm are the most emerging markets worldwide, with the biggest potential. I’ve never seen such conversion rates and enthusiastic customers in any other territories as come from LatAm. If somebody had said to me before that it would be possible to build a business from scratch, which in less than 2 months would generate more than 1 million euros in GGR, I’d not believe him/her. I still don’t believe that you can do this in Africa or Europe (for example), but I’ve already seen a number of LatAm operators achieving those numbers in that region with our help. Plus, when you live and work from Lisbon, Portugal, Brazil appears as a recognizable and pleasant market, since Portugal and Brazil are too close in all cultural and human aspects. Regarding Eddie (Morales), he is a jewel in the team of Atlas. It’s very hard to find such a professional with an inside knowledge of industry and the local markets, so with him on board, LatAm becomes just a home for us.
Which are the main challenges of the evolution of technology in the current iGaming landscape?
The idea which inspired me to build Atlas came in a Berlin conference, where we’ve been speakers on the same panel with former VP of Virgin Galactic, who spoke a lot about automation in IT. After the panel, all the speakers went for a tea break and when talking informally, he said one precious thing: “Guys, I’m not from your industry, but when I look at you, it reminds me old good times of aviation: 30 years ago, everybody still tried to build their own plane from cheap materials and easy technologies, but the science and automation became a challenge for our industry. With time, people couldn’t build anymore cheap commercial planes which could compete with the giants. All the airlines wanted to have something automated, efficient and secure. From tens of companies, only Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier survived. The rest could have only unnoticeable share in some very small local segments. The same process is happening in your industry and you will see this effect soon.” That’s exactly what we see now and that’s what we will see in the next years, more and more. Ten years ago, to build a platform you needed 10-20 developers and 9+ months of time. Now, you still can do it, but it will be a casino platform or something which some people would also call a platform for sportsbook, but basically that’s an odds feed wrapped in a nice front-end with a couple of buttons of management. It can still run, but as soon as you get big and each percentage of revenue means a lot, all these operators should look for something more professional. The same goes with bookmakers. If in 2010 you had 200 bookmakers and 50 risk-managers, it looked totally fantastic, but when you have this staff in 2022, imagine how many manual errors operators who work on your platform will have every day.
What is your analysis of the future of the industry in the next two years, and how will Atlas-IAC continue to lead the sector with its philosophy of ‘Imagine, Act and Create’?
This should be an era of BI (business intelligence) and data. All the processes in operations (sports trading, risk management, antifraud) and marketing and retention should, step by step, come to the AI powered solutions, and use neuron networks powered technologies. Maybe not in 2 years, I’d say 3 or 4 years, but that will come. Now, we hear that words only as a hype (when you hear that someone has AI-powered solution, better check if that’s real AI or just a nice word for marketing), but this is the only way to move forward and to grow. Companies that are working on it now will dominate the market in the near future. That’s the direction we should follow in Atlas and we will surely advance in that sense.