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In-play betting on the agenda at iGB Live!

George Miller

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In-play betting on the agenda at iGB Live!
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iGB Live! kicks off this week with over 5000 iGaming professionals descending on Amsterdam’s RAI conference centre to enjoy a week of innovation and networking. Racing Post will once again showcase its new sports brand Intellr, with further developments to its flagship in-play football product offering bookmakers more options than ever to deliver expert real time content throughout the 90 minutes.

Racing Post’s B2B team will also be on hand to speak through their extensive range of horse racing and sports content products.

Stuart Dacre, Clarion Event Director said: “Each event in the iGB portfolio is proud of the content it offers, highlighting the industry trends and needs, narrowing in on the specifics, then following through with takeaways ready to be applied to any business. iGB Live! 2019 is no different with two free to attend theatres, iGB Affiliate Amsterdam and iGB Live! HQ!”

Speaking about the upcoming event and the recent Intellr In-play launch, Racing Post B2B Head of Digital, Will Fyler said: “Intellr is in its early stages, however we are excited for our customers to view the product at iGB Live! There is a huge appetite for high-quality sports betting content, both in the UK and internationally. We can now supply our customers with this content both pre-play and in-play.”

Fyler continued: “iGB Live! is an exciting event, it comes at the perfect time throughout the summer to catch up with our customers across the continent and showcase our new products. Clarion consistently put on fantastic events and we know this will be no different.”

For more information on Intellr In-play visit intellr.com

Industry News

Dream Games raises $7.5 million seed round to create high-quality puzzle games

George Miller

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Dream Games raises $7.5 million seed round to create high-quality puzzle games
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  • Dream Games has been created by five former employees of Peak Games, developer of hit puzzle games Toy Blast and Toon Blast.

  • The $7.5 million seed investment was led by Makers Fund, joined by Balderton Capital

  • New funding will help Dream Games attract the best new talent to Istanbul, a region that is emerging as a significant global leader in the puzzle game space

  • The company aims to design market-leading, high-quality games for an audience of loyal players across the hugely successful casual puzzle game industry

Dream Games – the Turkish mobile gaming company founded by the team that worked on hit puzzle games Toy Blast and Toon Blast – has raised $7.5 million in its first highly competitive round of seed funding.

In just three months, Dream Games has already attracted interest from a number of leading game companies and VCs, including Makers Fund who led this round, and co-investor Balderton Capital.

The investment will be used to fund the recruitment of new talent to join the Dream Games team in Istanbul as it looks to increase its personnel five-fold over the next two years.

The company has been co-founded by the former Product Director at Peak Games, Soner Aydemir, who worked for Toy Blast and its successor Toon Blast. Joining Soner on the Dream Games founding team are Ikbal Namli and Hakan Saglam, the former engineering leads; Eren Sengul and Serdar Yilmaz, the product manager and 3D artist.

In its first year, Dream Games wants to grow this team size to 20. In year two, this team will expand further as the company gears up for launch and requires additional expertise.

“Supercell built amazing games with very small teams,” said Soner, “proving you don’t need huge teams spread across regions to build something people want to play. What you do need, however, is a talented team. We plan to focus our investments on building a highly skilled team to develop high-quality games.”

A high-quality approach

Rather than releasing game after game into a relatively saturated mobile space, Dream Games is setting itself apart by focusing on quality over quantity.

“We don’t believe in a hit-or-miss approach towards game development” added Soner. “For us, its evolution over innovation, execution over ideas. We plan to fix the pain points for players in existing games and our experience makes us confident we can build something truly global by focusing on a single high-quality, long-standing game instead of multiple flash-in-the-pan titles. We’d rather people were loyally playing our one game for 10 years than losing interest every six months when something new comes along.”

It’s Turkey’s time to shine

Part of Dream Games appeal is that it’s part of a flourishing gaming ecosystem coming out of Istanbul that’s attracting interest from the industry’s biggest players; a region that is establishing itself as a leading market.

In 2017, Peak Games sold its card and board games studio to mobile gaming giant Zynga for $100 million. Zynga later opened a studio in Istanbul and made further acquisitions, paying $250 million for Gram Games, the Turkish developers behind hugely popular puzzle titles.

This helped kickstart an ecosystem of leading hyper-casual gaming studios, with the likes of Good Job Games, Ruby Games, Alictus, Rollic Games and Bigger Games all launching in the region over the past two years and being responsible for some of the United States’ most popular and most downloaded games.

Dream Games is hoping its seed round investment, coupled with this thriving ecosystem, will help attract top talent to join the gaming industry in Turkey.

Michael Cheung, Partner at Makers Fund said: “Casual puzzle games are some of the most successful and long-lasting titles in the industry, with recent successes showing there’s further room for growth. The Dream Games team’s achievements speak to a dedication and devotion to cracking the genre; together with their focus on Istanbul, a city we believe will be the next major hub for gaming. We’re honoured to be supporting them early in their journey.”

Rob Moffat, Partner at Balderton Capital said: “Our thesis in mobile games is very simple, to invest in the very best teams. We were blown away by the intensity, ability and cohesiveness of the Dream Games founding team. Their experience in building two of the most successful casual games of the last few years really stands out. At Balderton, we have been lucky enough to invest in several success stories in mobile casual games (Big Fish, Wooga, Natural Motion) and we believe Dream Games could be even bigger than these.”

 

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Industry News

Mercurius closes its second-round investment reaching 800K in raised capital

George Miller

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Mercurius closes its second-round investment reaching 800K in raised capital
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Sports data technology startup sets sights on betting as an asset class

Sports-betting and data technology start-up Mercurius is delighted to announce it has achieved its target of raising €500,000 in second- round funding from industry investors.

The Milan-based company has now raised a total of €800,000 from two funding rounds and will use the money raised to enhance and develop its sports-trading product and further expand the team.

Mercurius was founded in 2017 by Fabrizio Machella, the CEO, Lorenzo Malanga who performs the role of Head of Data Science and Mario Ciardulli who is the company’s Chief Marketing Officer.

Machella said he was excited by the level of interest the business generated in its latest funding round.

“We have a very thrilling idea for the future of sports trading and we are very pleased that our investors agree that we are on the right path,” he said.

“They are backing our vision of building a product that will exploit the increasing similarities between the worlds of gambling on sports and trading financial instruments. Our whole proposition is based on the idea that sports betting will become ever more trading- and exchange-based thanks to the evolution of data analysis and predictive technology.”

Sports-betting into finance

The money from the second round of funding will help develop Mercurius’ idea of moving sports-betting towards being regarded as a new type of alternative asset class.

Specifically, a pilot will be set up with investment firm Digital Value which will create a financial vehicle for sophisticated investors to take advantage of Mercurius’ AI- based data technology.

“We plan to increase the number of competitions we can analyse and the types of bets we can effectively cover alongside being able to model workable hedging strategies,” added Machella.

“We want to create the tech stack that can be used by asset managers for use in what we see as a coming and importantly uncorrelated asset class of the future.”

First-round funding

In its first round of funding in 2018, Mercurius was backed by an Italian venture capitalist, Wylab, the first Italian sports-tech incubator which facilitated a partnership with football analytics company Wyscout, as well as business angels Andrea Anderlini, Luca Russo and Luigi Tempio. All the previous investors have invested in the second round of funding alongside business angels Piero Minotti, Roberto Rossi, Stan Ivanov and Mattia Pasquali.

“We love what Fabrizio and his team are trying to achieve,” said Federico Smanio, Wylab CEO. “Sports data and analytics is really coming of age and the way that Mercurius is leveraging that in the field of sports-betting is awesome. We are really very happy to be accompanying them on this journey.”

Early-stage investor Anton Kaszubowski from Greenlaw added that he was very impressed with what he had seen of the technology and how it can potentially revolutionise ideas around sports-betting and investment.

“This isn’t just a sports-betting product,” he said. “What Mercurius has done is produce a product that takes advantage of developments in trading, exchange betting and data analysis and wielded it into a platform that could really shake things up in the twin area of gambling and investing.”

Mattia Pasquali from Digital Value said the company was very excited about its joint venture and was looking forward to enabling uncorrelated value creation for its clients. “Sports betting and finance are getting closer due to the power of data analytics; we are very well positioned with this partnership in place to benefit from the increasing demand for alternative products due to the high maturity of the current economic cycle,” he said.

 

About Mercurius:

Mercurius BI is a tech start-up, operating in Italy and in the UK, aimed at transforming sports betting into a new financial investment category. Mercurius was founded in 2017 by Fabrizio Machella (CEO), Lorenzo Malanga (Head of Data Science) and Mario Ciardulli (CMO), and subsequently backed by an Italian VC, by the sports tech incubator Wylab and by a group of business angels in 2018. Since its inception, Mercurius has been improving its proprietary AI algorithms to crunch massive amounts of detailed sports data in order to create profitable value betting strategies. Today Mercurius’s technology is available to professional traders and sophisticated investors through its app for the Betfair Exchange (https://trader.mercurius.io). Mercurius’s innovative quantitative approach to sports trading is the foundation for the Company’s vision of establishing sports betting as a viable alternative investment asset class. The Company is now eager to start working with investment firms to create tailored financial products based on sports trading that are targeted at qualified investors.

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Industry News

Gaming Innovation Group – Mandatory notification of trade

George Miller

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Gaming Innovation Group - Mandatory notification of trade
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Catherine Medin Brown, close associate of Richard Brown, CEO and primary insider of Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG), has today purchased 21,000 shares in GiG at an average price of SEK 4.85 per share. After this transaction, Richard Brown and close associates holds 121,000 shares in GiG. In addition, Richard Brown holds 50,000 options to buy shares in GiG.

This information is information that Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication at 10:40 CET on 20 November 2019.

 

About Gaming Innovation Group (GiG)

Gaming Innovation Group Inc. is a technology company providing products and services throughout the entire value chain in the iGaming industry. Founded in 2012, Gaming Innovation Group’s vision is ‘To open up iGaming and make it fair and fun for all’. Through its ecosystem of products and services, it is connecting operators, suppliers and users, to create the best iGaming experiences in the world. GiG operates out of Malta and is dual-listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GIG and on Nasdaq Stockholm under the ticker symbol GIGSEK. www.gig.com

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