The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had far reaching consequences for global business, and for the Kyiv-founded betting operator and supplier Parimatch Tech, the war understandably had a deep impact.
In the midst of an expansion of its B2B technology operations, Parimatch Tech has also found itself at the forefront of humanitarian response. Explaining developments, CEO Maksym Liashko and Deputy CEO Evgen Belousov outlined both elements of the company’s 2022 activity.
SBC – How has the rollout of Parimatch Tech’s B2B operations been going so far?
Evgen Belousov: Parimatch Tech’s rollout of B2B is a consistent-planned step in company business model development. The tragic events of 24 February only speeded up the plans we had been considering for some time.
The withdrawal of the franchise from Russia, disposal of the Belarusian part of the holding, and direct losses in the Ukrainian market also affected the focus on B2B solutions development.
Considering that eight out of 10 sports betting operators do not work on their software, including companies operating in many regions with well-known brands, we felt ready to step into this niche.
Because in the online era, technology excellence is a prerequisite for success. That’s why we decided to be a technology partner of the iGaming operating business and offer all our modern and optimised solutions to third-party operational companies.
On board, we have several in-house developed additional components for a modern iGaming platform, such as CRM, recommendation engine, analytics & business, complex anti-fraud systems, MarTech solutions, etc.
We also develop solutions that provide parts of our platform for operation by third parties. All these additional features open new horizons for cooperation with iGaming operators. Negotiations with potential partners are already underway, so we await the first launch next year.
SBC – Moving forward, how will the GLI certification bolster your international rollout?
Maksym Liashko: Certification is a must to underline a product’s quality. Firstly, it’s an independent assessment confirming your product is secure and complies with standards and quality marks.
On the other hand, certification allows us to operate in fast-expanding and regulated markets. Both these aspects of certification positively affect Parimatch Tech’s ambitions in the global market.
SBC – Has Parimatch Tech identified any particular markets with strong potential for its sportsbook services?
ML: I wouldn’t say we’re adapting to any specific market. We are restructuring the business to provide our products for operation in any market, with further tuning to specific regulations. Thus, our partner gains a personal approach to the gambling and betting industry.
As for geo-referencing Parimatch brand expansion, we are currently considering Eastern European markets that have shown significant growth in recent years.
SBC – How has Parimatch Tech made its B2B services stand out from the competition? What is the USP?
ML: The foundation of the Parimatch Tech USP is a synergy between technology and deep industry expertise. Over 30 years of experience in the betting industry and stable GGR growth despite global crises prove that we understand the needs of our partners and end customers.
As I said, eight of 10 sports betting operators don’t have their own software. We, however, have extensive experience in in-house gambling and betting platform development. Using Parimatch Tech’s well-developed brand, companies looking to position themselves in their local markets can fast-track their growth rather than start from scratch.
Our content personalisation is based on AI technologies because it is critical to customer retention and loyalty, as customers increasingly look for a bespoke and tailored gaming experience. All business development strategies are also based on data analysis and statistics using machine learning and AI.
Parimatch Tech’s path to prosperity is the constant development and improvement of our products and services. Our strategic partnerships with AWS, Google, Cloudflare and Salesforce allow us to provide company products to customers on every continent. For example, our solutions make it possible for businesses to operate in African countries as if the entire infrastructure were located on the African continent.
As a follower of legal requirements, Parimatch Tech has the expertise and experience to consult government representatives about launching legal and regulated gambling markets.
We offer more than just a platform. We provide a service for launching the platform and components fully optimised and adapted for successful operation in the customer’s chosen region.
SBC – Why did you decide that now was the time to reposition yourself as a technology company rather than a betting brand?
ML: A complete Parimatch transition from a traditional betting brand to a product-focused technology business started in 2020. It began with an internal company restructuring focused on in-house development.
In 2021, we finished our tech transformation from Parimatch to Parimatch Tech. To cover the development and infrastructure support of the Parimatch platform, we established eight R&D centres around the world with more than 1,000 IT specialists.
We also continued to promote the Parimatch brand globally and, at the same time, provided technology and marketing solutions for the gambling and betting industry. Since then, the Parimatch brand and Parimatch platform have become our core products and calling cards.
As for now, the war forced us to switch back to the one-CEO model, speed up the operational and decision-making processes and become more flexible. Boosting the B2B course is only a logical continuation of Parimatch Tech’s business model development.
SBC – Your B2C betting operation runs on a franchise-based model—what are the key benefits of this?
EB: Some of our franchise opportunities are similar to general franchise model benefits. Here are three of them:
Well-known established brand
Using a recognisable, established brand is one of the major benefits. Instead of wasting resources on brand development and promotion, a franchise allows you to focus on operations and turn a profit faster. Thanks to the in-house expertise, Parimatch Tech has complete media buying, SEO, and affiliate coverage for our brands.
We develop all needed creative campaigns and supporting brand materials. Our mutually beneficial partnership agreements with Chelsea, Juventus, Leicester City, Everton and Aston Villa have made our brand well known worldwide, which benefits our partners.
Depending on the budget, we present each partner with the optimal setup. For example, in the United Kingdom, our partners at BetVictor use the Parimatch brand but operate on a different platform.
Also, we have cases of providing both the brand and platform for operation. Along with the tech transformation, we developed practices for forming operating teams for our own or external platforms in different regions.
Compliance is a significant part of sports betting operations. Parimatch Tech constantly scans the horizon for new opportunities and regulatory requirements in markets where our partners or our company operate.
We carefully weigh the local economy and infrastructure and use data-analysis approaches to reduce operational and compliance-related risks. Moreover, Parimatch Tech follows a security strategy to prevent risks associated with access, data security, product security, network security, employee security and supply chain threats.
SBC – Parimatch Tech and the Parimatch Foundation had a resounding response to the tragic events in Ukraine. Can you give us a breakdown of what the company has done and how this has played out?
EB: As a company with Ukrainian roots, we have supported our country since the first day of the full-scale invasion. The number of income requests from our customers, employees, and country defenders motivated us to create an internal help centre to process them. Our employees took part as volunteers, and some went to defend the country in the ranks of the Ukrainian Army.
In June, with our official Ukrainian representative Parimatch Ukraine, we allocated more than UAH 180m (€4.7m). We allocate funds to official charitable foundations, targeted requests from Ukrainian defenders and humanitarian aid for mutually displaced people.
As for Parimatch Foundation, they actively worked with authorities, regional military administrations, volunteers and NGOs, helping internally displaced people and families with children who remained in the hottest spots.
In June, Parimatch Foundation identified the psychological rehabilitation of children, sports programs renewal, and ongoing work with medical projects and facilities as priority areas.
With a British charity organisation, WeHelpUkrainians, and the renowned Dr Owase Jeelani, Parimatch Foundation has launched the Ukraine Hospitals Appeal initiative. The charities aim to raise €1m to help save the children wounded by the war and create a cloud-based platform for experience exchange between Ukrainian and British surgeons and purchase essential medical supplies for the Children’s Hospital in Lviv.
In total, over the four months of the full-scale war in Ukraine, Parimatch Foundation purchased and distributed over 50 tons of humanitarian help, spending UAH 8.5m (€224,000) and benefiting more than 55,000 Ukrainians.
But still, the war is not over yet. Ukraine heavily depends on both donations and publicity about Russian war crimes. So, we will continue supporting our native country as much as possible until the victory.
Maksym Liashko will be speaking on the SBC Leaders Panel at the SBC Summit Barcelona, taking place from 20-22 September. To view the agenda and book tickets, click HERE