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Sporjo secures $2 Mn in Pre Series A Funding

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Sporjo secures $2 Mn in Pre-Series A Funding
Left To Right - G Srinivvasan, Founder & CEO, Sporjo, Punit Balan, Investor, Sporjo, Leander Paes, Strategic Advisor & Ambassador
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– First ever online platform to focus on education, training & employability in the Indian sports industry
– Backed by Punit Balan of Punit Balan Group & Punit Balan Studios
– Indian legend Leander Paes on board as Strategic Advisor & Ambassador

Sporjo, an online education, training & employability company focused on sports, announced that it has raised $2 million in a Pre Series A round led by private investor Punit Balan, Chairman Punit Balan Group & Punit Balan Studios, in participation with other private investors. The company will use the funds for expanding its product offerings, improving product experience, scaling its team, driving expansion Pan India and in key overseas markets.

Founded in May 2020 by G Srinivvasan, a sports industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience, Sporjo is a one-stop destination for building a successful career in the Indian sports industry. Based on the tenet of transforming passion into profession in sports, the company aims to create an ecosystem of half a million professionals to support the Indian sports industry by 2030. Sporjo offers a trademarked assessment tool that allows for participants to decipher a road map based on their skill set and personality, as well as education & training modules led by industry experts across a variety of categories such as Digital and Social media, Data & Analytics, Operations, Sports Science, Coaching etc., to further hone their skills.

Says G Srinivvasan, Founder & CEO, Sporjo, “While the Sports industry is in its infancy in India, the landscape has witnessed a significant transformation in the last decade. With the advent of IPL and other subsequent leagues, the industry has seen a massive shift towards investments in sports. Sports’ lucrative potential is clear with large corporations entering the segment. However for a market estimated at INR 100 billion, Sports India contributes 0.1 percent to the GDP compared to the global average of 0.5%. This indicates tremendous potential for expansion.

Challenges exist for both candidates and employers. A lack of credible sources, information and knowledge is a major hurdle for the candidates. Skill gaps, understanding of the business of sports, and incredible lead times to find the right person ail the employers. With jobs in Sports projected to grow at a CAGR of 6% by FY24, addressing this gap between candidate and employer through assessing, training and eventually placing professionals has been Sporjo’s genesis.”

Punit Balan, Investor, “What Sporjo is doing for the Indian sports industry is transformative. With the Indian sports market poised for growth, there is an ever-growing need for professionals in the industry. Having backed athletes as well as a few teams over the years, I am acutely aware of the gap that exists in recruiting the right talent. It is also the right time to start educating parents, children and professionals about the varied careers that exist in the sports industry and providing them with a roadmap backed with an action plan. I am very proud to back innovators like Sporjo that provide that solution while empowering & building a community of sports professionals. I believe in their vision and I look forward to their continued growth and evolution.”

Leander Paes, Strategic Advisor & Ambassador, “In the journey of a career spanning 31 years, I’ve had many learnings and one of my greatest understandings has been that having that right group of skilled professionals by your side to aid your success can make all the difference between winning and becoming a champion. The evolution of sports and the refinement of professional athletes over the past few years has created a valid need for skilled professionals that understand the nuances of the industry. Sporjo is a brand that has identified this and is making strides to equip the entire Indian sporting industry. I personally am very excited to be associated with a brand that is working towards creating an ecosystem of excellence right from the grassroots level. Becoming successful isn’t random or a matter of luck, it’s a mindset and through this association I hope we are able to aid and create an ecosystem that breeds successful individuals in the field of sports across all mediums.”

Asia

AGB confirms return of ASEAN Gaming Summit in March, 2022

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AGB confirms return of ASEAN Gaming Summit in March, 2022
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Asia Gaming Brief, the organizer of regional gaming conference the ASEAN Gaming Summit, has confirmed the much-awaited return of its yearly conference on 21-23 March, 2022, at the Shangri-La at the Fort in Manila.

The conference, known for gathering influential gaming executives from the Philippines and across Asia, has been on a two-year hiatus as Covid-19 made it impossible to safely host a physical event.

However over the last few months, Manila in particular, has been making enormous strides to reopen its economy. Just this week, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. announced that Manila’s population is expected to reach 92 percent vaccination status by December. This has given Asia Gaming Brief confidence about the viability of its planned March dates in 2022.

“We’re excited to be able to bring back the ASEAN Gaming Summit next year, and we are encouraged by the rapid vaccination rate in the Philippines, particularly Metro Manila,” said Felix Ng, conference director at Asia Gaming Brief.

“We’re now gearing up to bring the industry its first conference in Manila post-pandemic, aimed at reigniting growth in one of Asia’s biggest gaming jurisdictions. We look forward to welcoming anyone looking to reconnect with the gaming industry in Asia once again.”

The three-day event is expected to bring around 300 gaming executives from Asia’s land-based and online gaming industry, including the region’s regulators and government officials.

“Our 2022 event will be bringing back our world-class conference, with a packed agenda made up of some of the industry’s most influential players. Taking center stage this year will be our networking activities – which are aimed at bringing business partners together, new and old,” Felix Ng highlighted.

The ASEAN Gaming Summit will be held on March 21-23, 2022 in Manila.

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Asia

Establishment of New Gambling Regulator in Singapore Faces Delays

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The establishment of a new gambling regulator in Singapore has been delayed.

In July, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had said it wanted to launch a new gambling regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), this year but Tan Tee How, Casino Regulatory Authority chairman says the schedule has been delayed.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic had made it difficult for the CRA officers to focus on creating the new regulator; a process that requires “intensive face-to-face discussions”. It is unknown if the new gambling regulator will finally be launched this year.

The proposed changes by the Ministry of Home Affairs included fines of up to $500,000 and seven years imprisonment for an operator of illegal gambling services.

Another amendment would allow physical social gambling among family and friends while online social gambling among families and friends would remain banned “due to the complexities of differentiation.”

The MHA also wants to introduce a prize cap of SGD100 (US$74) for mystery boxes, arcade games and claw machines arguing that this will be sufficient to address the inducement effect of high-value prizes, without increasing the regulatory burden on operators.

Singapore’s gambling regulation is currently supervised by various government agencies. Casino Regulatory Authority regulates the casinos, while MHA’s gaming regulatory agency regulates remote gambling services and fruit machines.

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Asia

QTech Games secures more premium content with NetEnt deal

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QTech Games secures more premium content with NetEnt deal
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Leading distributor extends its premier portfolio with more top slots from revered supplier

QTech Games, the number-one games distributor across Asia and all growth markets, has announced its latest top-flight partnership with premium casino content supplier, NetEnt.

Under the terms of the new deal, NetEnt‘s award-winning portfolio of slots has been integrated and targeted for QTech Games’ clients and their players, adding more muscle to a powerhouse platform setting the pace for bringing the best online games to market across developing territories.

Now, this ever-evolving production line will help bolster QTech Games’ comprehensive catalogue of gaming domains, part of a definitive one-stop shop for global operators, known as QTech ONE™. In addition to incorporating NetEnt’s revered suite of slots, QTech Games will also be able to harness powerful and popular engagement mechanics, which serve to promote player engagement and retention with every spin.

The agreement organically widens NetEnt’s worldwide footprint, opening up a raft of emerging markets for accelerated growth. As the fastest-growing distributor over the past few years, QTech’s platform is localised for each region with native mobile apps, robust reporting and marketing tools, and 24/7 local-language support.

Ulf Norder, CCO at QTech Games, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with NetEnt whose jaw-dropping games rank among the finest on the marketThe QTech Games platform is integrated with the best games from the planet’s top providers – and NetEnt now sits at the top of this ramified tree.

“Their ability to drive engagement and digital dwell-time with their immersive gameplay and clever mechanics neatly embrace QTech’s shared emphasis on innovative tech driving a superior gaming experience for all players – wherever you set your scene among a range of exciting markets. These slots are certain to appeal to different demographics across assorted territories, so we can’t wait to see the results.”

Earlier this year, QTech Games broke further ground as the leading distributor across emerging markets with the launch of an industry-first, cross-supplier rewards feature, Network Progressive Jackpot, unpacking a cutting-edge acquisition and retention toolbox for its global partners.

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