Rivalry plots further expansion into crypto and B2B verticals

CEO Steven Salz explains how crypto has reached an “inflection point” with its users and how the firm is “uniquely suited” to meet this demographic of players
The post Rivalry plots further expansion into crypto and B2B verticals first appeared on EGR Intel.  

Rivalry has announced that it will seek to secure B2B licences and deepen its cryptocurrency options following successful in-house game releases and greater cryptocurrency demand from players.

CEO Steven Salz spoke about the firm’s plans to refine its product suite in the upcoming year by making two new strides in its business model, which he described as “two of the most material development[s] since launching Rivalry in 2018”.

These plans were disclosed during the esports-focused operator’s analyst call following the publication of its Q4 financial report, which Salz said would provide new revenue streams for the business.

The CEO’s commitment to B2B expansion comes after the group revealed it was exploring the possibility, communicated in a letter to shareholders published earlier this year.

Citing the successful release of its in-house developed game, Cash and Dash, Salz said the response from users has been “incredible”, leading to the company probing further B2B options. 

Salz said: “The impact of these games has created a tangible B2B opportunity for our games vertical, opening a new line of revenue for the business that has great potential for global scale.”

The CEO confirmed the operator will look to launch its B2B operations in both grey and regulated markets, with debuts in the former due to come before the end of 2024.

He explained: “There are probably going to be relationships on a more or less global level. There will be the grey markets and there will probably be individual regulated markets. The regulated market ones will take a bit longer; probably later this year. I can’t specify exactly when because it just varies based on the market testing and things that, frankly, are not really in our control in terms of approval.

“Grey market opportunities could be more near term. I wouldn’t say H1 but probably at some point in H2 for that one.”

The other move that the operator is looking into is greater support for cryptocurrency payments, as well as expanding out its wider offering for crypto users.

Salz said that the cryptocurrency ecosystem has reached an “inflection point” and, given the firm’s primarily Gen Z audience, the company is “uniquely suited” to tap into this. 

On the firm’s plans for crypto, Salz commented: “We believe we can meaningfully enrich the user experience on our platform, from payments to player value and creating enhanced network effects. 

“Evolving alongside our audience and adapting broader trends and consumer technology will not only maintain our market leading position among the demographic but allow us to continue setting the standard for what’s possible in this category.”

Salz went on to say that plans for further expansion into the crypto space have been in the works for several months. While he was coy on what this expansion would look like, he did confirm that the operator will add greater support for crypto payments across its platform. 

However, the CEO said the technology was at a “significantly more developed level than it was a few cycles ago” and this fact would facilitate Rivalry in its planned integration.

Salz continued: “You can integrate various crypto native experiences into a betting product in a way there wasn’t a few years ago. If there’s any brand in the space that could interact with [crypto] in a completely organic way it would be us. We’ve been on and off evaluating it, there’s clearly a significant unlock here.”

Looking at Rivalry’s financial performance away from the group’s future outlook, Q4 2023 saw revenue slump 32% year on year (YoY) to C$6.5m (£3.8m) as the firm points to “less favourable sportsbook outcomes compared against an abnormally favourable result” in Q4 2022. Similarly, gross profit fell 40% to land at C$3m.

Elsewhere, efforts were made to stymie net losses at the firm, with that figure falling from C$12.3m to C$9m while marketing spend dropped 32%.

In its preliminary full-year 2023 results, betting handle was C$423.2m, representing an 82% YoY improvement on 2022, which led to increases in both revenue and gross profit.

Revenue was up 34% on 2022, coming in at C$35.7m, while gross profit also rose significantly from C$9.8m to C$16.2m. 

The operator noted that the key driver of growth in 2023 was its casino segment, which saw revenue rise 92% YoY to $6.4m, with handle increasing by 52% as well. 

At the close of trading on Friday, Rivalry’s share price on the Toronto Stock Exchange was C$0.96.

The post Rivalry plots further expansion into crypto and B2B verticals first appeared on EGR Intel.


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