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Better Collective reports record revenue; strong growth in US business and media partnerships

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Better Collective: Nomination committee Proposal to the Annual General Meeting 2022
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Interim report January 1 – June 30, 2021

Highlights second quarter 2021

  • Q2 Group revenue grew by 162% to 40,009 tEUR (Q2 2020: 15,253 tEUR). Organic revenue growth was 47%.
  • The US business performed strongly, even before inclusion of Action Network, by recording NDC performance and revenue on par with a strong Q1 2021, despite Q2 being low season.
  • Q2 Group EBITDA before special items increased 90% to 12,662 tEUR (Q2 2020: 6,672 tEUR). The EBITDA-margin before special items was 32% (Publishing segment 43% and Paid Media segment 11%).
  • Special items include cost related to the acquisition of Action Network of 5.3 mEUR.
  • Cash Flow from operations before special items was 11,069 tEUR (Q2 2020: 10,363 tEUR), an increase of 7%. The cash conversion was 93% following a 121% conversion rate in Q1. End of Q2, capital reserves stood at 69 mEUR including cash of 40 mEUR and unused bank credit facilities of 29 mEUR.
  • New Depositing Customers (NDCs) were 197,000 in the quarter with an implied growth of 179%, establishing a new quarterly record.
  • Media partnerships saw breakthrough performance delivering more than 38,000 NDCs. Three new media partnerships were signed.
  • Earn-out payments of 1.2 mEUR in cash and 0.9 mEUR in shares were made in relation to the 2020-acquisition of HLTV and its achievement of pre-agreed financial performance.
  • At the AGM, Therese Hillman, CEO of NOD and former Group CEO of NetEnt, was elected to the board of directors.
  • Better Collective acquired leading US sports betting media platform, Action Network, for 196 mEUR (240 mUSD), gaining market leadership within sports betting media in the US.
  • Better Collective resolved on a directed share issue of 6.9 million shares, raising proceeds of 145 mEUR to maintain financial flexibility.
  • For the fourth consecutive year, Better Collective topped the prestigious EGR Global’s Power Affiliates 2021 ranking.

Financial highlights first six months 2021

  • In the first half of 2021, revenue grew by 118% to 78,845 tEUR (YTD 2020: 36,174 tEUR).
  • In the first half of 2021, EBITDA before special items increased 64% to 25,855 tEUR (YTD 2020: 15,718 tEUR). The EBITDA-margin before special items was 33%.
  • Cash Flow from operations before special items was 27,171 tEUR (YTD 2020: 19,814 tEUR), an increase of 37%. The cash conversion rate before special items was 107%. At the end of Q2 2021, cash and unused credit facilities amounted to 69 mEUR.
  • New Depositing Customers (NDCs) exceeded 371,000 in the first half year (growth of 99%).

Significant events after the closure of the period

  • July revenue reached 12.4 mEUR, more than double of July 2020, with an organic growth of 13%. July 2021 revenue was negatively impacted by an extraordinarily low sports win margin, especially in connection with the finalisation of EURO2020. This should be seen in the light of a comparison month of July 2020, which was positively impacted by the rescheduling of sports events due to COVID-19 and an above average sports win margin.

Financial targets
The full-year financial targets remain unchanged.

Jesper Søgaard, Co-founder & CEO of Better Collective, commented:
Q2 marks yet a record quarter in terms of revenue and NDCs delivered to our partners. At the same time, we continue to record strong profitability and cash flows. The strong performance is especially driven by the US business, and by our media partnerships that saw breakthrough performance during Q2. The peak of the quarter was the closing of our largest acquisition to date, Action Network, which is a game changer and consolidates our leading sports betting media position in the US”

Conference call
A telephone conference will be held at 10.00 a.m. CET today by CEO Jesper Søgaard and CFO Flemming Pedersen. The presentation will simultaneously be webcasted, and both the telephone conference and the webcast offer an opportunity to ask questions.

Affiliate Industry

Exclusive Q&A with Christoffer Ødegården, Head of Casino at Bojoko

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With growing competition in the online casino industry, finding effective ways to attract new players is crucial for operators. To discover which strategies are the most effective, we contacted Christoffer Ødegården.
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With growing competition in the online casino industry, finding effective ways to attract new players is crucial for operators. To discover which strategies are the most effective, we contacted Christoffer Ødegården. He serves as Head of Casino at Bojoko, one of the top affiliates in the UK, and has access to comprehensive data on what features help secure additional FTDs. In this interview, he shares how diversifying payment options, lowering deposit limits, and refining bonuses can help casinos stay competitive.

What are the most effective strategies casinos can use to increase FTDs?

Most casinos focus on tweaking their bonuses to attract new players, which is effective. However, it can also have certain financial risks and lower player value. Our data shows that one of the fastest ways to increase FTDs is to simply expand the selection of payment methods.

It might not be intuitive, but offering a variety of methods does not just mean that players can choose what works best for them once they are on your page. Having the right payment methods will actually lead to a large number of players hearing about and exploring your casino in the first place.

Could you explain the impact of offering diverse payment methods on player behavior?

Many players have specific payment preferences and will only make deposits and withdrawals with specific payment methods, some sticking with just one. It is essential to have all relevant UK payment methods to avoid missing out on these users. As I already mentioned, many Brits actively search for casinos with their preferred payment method available, and comparison sites like Bojoko cater to them.

Bojoko has pages for every popular UK payment method, where players can quickly compare their offers and make their choice. This is without ever being exposed to brands that do not offer their deposit method of choice.

Let me provide a quick example. We have noticed that many Brits actively search for Paysafecard casinos and land on our dedicated page, where they compare casinos that let you deposit with Paysafecard and sign up. These players come with high intent, resulting in higher conversion rates. It is not just Paysafecard; a long string of more niche payment methods are hugely popular amongst Brits.

Which payment methods have proven to be most beneficial?

There are almost too many to mention, but pre-paid cards like Paysafecard, e-wallets like Neosurf, and mobile payment options like Boku and PayForIt are clearly gaining popularity. We have also seen an enormous rise in PayPal in the last few years, and the industry has responded, with most British casinos now offering PayPal. ApplePay is another mainstream payment method that has somehow been largely ignored among online casinos.

How should casinos respond to these emerging trends?

Casinos should always try to quickly embrace these trends, as the earlier they adapt, the more players they stand to earn. There is always an adaption curve where the less common payment methods are only available at a few operators, meaning they share the entire pot of players searching for these options.

I’d also recommend utilizing their relationship with affiliates like Bojoko, which can also amplify visibility. As I mentioned, our platform provides curated lists that guide players to casinos offering their preferred payment method. This visibility and alignment with player preferences often result in a noticeable uptick in FTDs. However, our collaboration with casinos goes beyond simply listing them on these pages. We can and do also provide insights on which payment methods and other features they should add to increase their FTDs.

You mentioned other features they can add to increase their FTDs. What specifically are you referring to? 

Another quick way for a casino to increase their FTDs is to lower the deposit limits. This makes it easier for players to sign up and get a sense of your brand. High minimum deposits can deter new players who want to try the casino without committing too much upfront.

I’d also like to specify that bonuses are still a powerful tool, with no deposit bonuses in particular being an effective way to bring in new players. However, these require a strong focus on player retention to avoid risks like bonus abuse. Less risky bonus options include increasing the percentage of your welcome bonus and trying out wager-free offers. However, no matter what you do, effective retention strategies remain key to ensuring players continue depositing after their initial experience.

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Affiliate Industry

Better Collective Acquires AceOdds

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In a strategic move to strengthen its foothold in the UK, digital sports media group Better Collective has acquired sports betting media AceOdds for a total consideration of 42 mEUR implying 4x last twelve months EBITDA.

AceOdds, a versatile multi-language sports betting brand, offers a comprehensive range of betting tools, odds, reviews and streaming schedules through its web and app based platforms. With a robust presence in the UK market, Better Collective’s global reach through local expertise aligns perfectly with AceOdds’s vision of expanding its influence outside the borders of the UK. Following the acquisition, Better Collective upgrades its 2024 full year financial targets.

Ian Bowden, Better Collective’s Senior Director for UK & Ireland, said: “I am thrilled to announce the addition of AceOdds to the Better Collective group. This strategic acquisition brings us a robust owned and operated sports betting media brand in the UK market, poised for global scalability. Aligned perfectly with Better Collective’s overarching strategy of acquiring leading sports media brands across various niches, the AceOdds brand fills a crucial gap by offering a vital sports betting affiliation brand in a pivotal growth market for the Better Collective group, along with an app benefiting from hundreds of thousands installs to further increase the reach we can provide our partners.”

Established in 2008, AceOdds was founded with the aim of providing UK sports enthusiasts with an easy-to-use betting calculator. Over the years, the brand has expanded, offering a well-regarded web platform featuring a range of betting tools, comparison features, live streaming schedules, an odds and parlay calculator, and more. Additionally, AceOdds has introduced a popular app.

The acquisition aligns with Better Collective’s strategy of owning the full range of sports media across key regions, spanning from traditional sportsbook comparison brands to general sports media, social media content creators, podcast producers and beyond.

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Affiliate Industry

AskGamblers Launches AskGamblers Sports

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AskGamblers, a renowned affiliate in the iGaming industry, launched the highly awaited sports betting section of AskGamblers, ushering in a new chapter in the affiliate’s quest for bringing online bettors closer to reputable and trustworthy iGaming platforms.

Relying on over a decade of experience in online casino affiliation, AskGamblers decided to take the next logical step in the website’s development and venture into sports. Over a year later, the AskGamblers Sports section is up and running and ready to welcome sports bettors.

In creating the new section, AskGamblers took a holistic approach, designing a one-stop shop for online sports bettors, with a simple idea to guide visitors towards a safe and secure betting experience.

Dijana Radunović, General Manager at AskGamblers, said: “AskGamblers Sports is the result of the hard work of the entire AskGamblers team, and I believe I’m speaking on everyone’s behalf when I say we couldn’t be more proud of it.

“We spent countless hours fine-tuning the sports betting section to make it as appealing and helpful to players as possible. We did an amazing job, and I am certain today’s launch will strengthen AskGamblers’ position as the leader in iGaming affiliation.”

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