Intervju med GoldBlue

GoldBlue är ett investmentbolag som har som affärsidé att investera i och driva företag verksamma inom online kasinospelsmarknaden främst i Asien. Bolaget inriktar sig främst mot olika former av kasinospel såsom livekasino, jackpotspel, sportsbetting, keno och spelautomater online under fyra olika varumärken. Historiskt har kärnmarknaden varit kinesisktalande spelare, men under 2016 utökade bolaget verksamheten mot japansktalande kunder. Under 2018 har GoldBlue även lanserat operatörsverksamhet mot indonesisk-, vietnamesisk- och thaitalande spelare.
Intervjuer
2019.06.24

Intervju med GoldBlue

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I am a 13-year veteran in the I-gaming industry, having worked in some big companies both in Europe and in Asia, focusing both the online and physical space, with the majority of my career being spent in businesses targeting emerging unregulated markets where I feel there is a great opportunity for start-ups to succeed against the more established operators simply due to the rapid technology improvements in the last 3-4 years opening up a gap for efficient, technology focused companies to step in with a business module that is more lean and digitally focused. 

Please give our readers an introduction to GoldBlue.

Goldblue AB was created with the vision to focus in I-gaming in emerging markets. The group subsidiaries own our gaming platform (one of our main assets) from which we run our B2C and our B2B business. Our B2C is composed of four gambling brands focusing on Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and Indonesian speaking customers. Also, in the first quarter of 2019 we signed our first B2B client an operator who decided to license our platform to run their online business out of. These are two verticals today we are present in; however, we have ambitions of touching other verticals related with the gaming cycle in emerging markets, one example of a new vertical for our group could be affiliate marketing or a slot studio for example.

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VD Andre Rodrigues

Could you elaborate on GoldBlue's business model?

The module is relatively simple, we operate currently under two modules the B2C and B2B model. B2C is applicable to the brands we currently manage and own, under this module we have four customer facing brands where our subsidiary acts as the house and players play against the house this means we are the responsible party taking the risk for the bet’s being placed on our Casino, Sportsbook etc. Our B2B module the group acts as a technology provider making a minimum monthly fee or a percentage of GGR (whichever is highest) of the operators Gross Gaming Revenues, in exchange our subsidiary provides a platform, content (we act as a re-seller and also making a margin on the content), front-end and technical support giving full support for the client to operate online in a stable manner.

GoldBlue is currently raising 16,9MSEK in a rights issue. How are you going to use this money? 

The money raised in the latest right issue will be used to top up our operational cash reserves, marketing of our B2C sites, operations predominantly strengthen the country and technology teams and lastly to repay debt we took to finance the business while on the run-up to the right issue.

How does the regulatory landscape (laws, rules, licenses) look like in the markets you are currently in and how do you manage the political risk in your operations?

All operators currently operate under an off-shore gaming license basis using .com websites. All five markets we have a presence in today are considered unregulated meaning there is no legal frame-work in place regulating online gambling similar to what the majority of Europe was back twenty years ago. Today there is no movement towards licensing or legislation being put into place to regulate the online space we feel this will continue for some time. We manage our potential risk by knowing our customers, this means we have documentation on all players who play with us, ID, proof of address, proof of age and source of income. We also do not allow traffic to register on our sites unless it originates from markets, we target by applying Geo-blocking technology, IP blocking technology and other restrictions we have in place, thereby reducing risk of accepting any unwanted business.

Could you brief us of the development in your new business area B2B Services since launch?

We launched back in March when we closed our first deal. Since then we have been working with our client on building their new front-end and what their customer facing website will look and feel like, as well as content/product to be available into it and finalising the back-office to be used according to the client’s specs. We expect to be able to launch their business towards end of July beginning of August. We will target one more customer for 2019 after we launch the current client.

Are there any differences between how people gamble in Asia compared to Europe/West?

There are many differences, European/Western players are predominantly recreational players who gamble with the intention of getting some enjoyment or entertainment out of the experience regardless of losing or winning, while in Asia players are more technical and focused receiving back rebates on their betting turnover and cash back on their losses rather than the typical bonuses we see in Europe or even free spins which are not very popular at all in Asia. A player in Asia is expected to generate at least double the turnover of its westerner counterpart.

Are you looking to expand to other countries in Asia or elsewhere?

In 2018 we launched three new markets within the year, in 2019 so far we have kicked of B2B and launched new product verticals such as traditional Asian P2P games alongside focusing on developing the newly launched markets. For the remainder of 2019 the focus will remain on growing on the five markets we are present in today and at a board level will consider if the time is right to launch in a potential sixth market.

How does your competition look like and what do you do better/differently than your peers?

The most established competitors have been in the market for over 10 years and they benefit by being well known with their brands in the market place, through heavy branding over their life-time. While their brands are well known, their platforms and user interface are outdated particularly around mobile which is today 70% to 80% of the preferred access channel by customers, making their organisations heavy manual focused organisations with hundreds of employees. We have invested into building a user interface that is modern and friendly across all devices including desktop and mobile, focusing on the ease of experience for the user as well as favourite localised promotions and a wide range of product since today we have over twenty suppliers integrated and working with us on our platform. This is definitely where we have an edge and with added automation, we don’t see the need to be as labour intensive as some of our competitors.

What is the size of GoldBlue's potential market?

Currently all the markets we are present in have a total population of just over 2 billion people, hence as you can see without looking at any other geographical markets in the same region, we are already present in a large populous market. Asia itself accounts for just under 60% of the world’s population and we feel this region with resent technology developments it is where the focus should be.

According to you, why is buying shares in GoldBlue a good investment?

Our share-price is very low particularly when compared to the potential of the company at the moment not reflecting the value of our assets in the business such as the platform or our four B2C brands or the potential we have within the B2C and B2B spectrum, hence the low valuation and cheap share price make it an attractive investment to a potential investor, we have also solved the main issues we had with our B2C business around payment solutions which affected performance in 2018. With the capital raised now that will be used towards marketing we will see a rapid change in our key metrics and an increase in growth which should reflect with a rise in our share-price and valuation due to the increase in business.

Finally, what is your long-term vision for GoldBlue? Where do you see the company 5 years from now?

There are a lot of possibilities, I feel Goldblue and its subsidiaries should continue to focus on its platform and product from a B2C perspective while on the B2B side we are one of the few platform providers who can offer access to the five markets we are in today. We should continue to build on this adding more verticals to our group such as player acquisition for example in the form of an affiliate company focusing on generating traffic or content supplier such as a slot or live-dealer studio and in this manner continuously growing the organization and building value to our shareholders, but remaining focused on emerging markets should stay part of our DNA.

Also we see that because we are a public listed entity, we are held to a higher standard than our competitors, this also translates into opportunities for our group, such as our recent Thai market acquisition where we got on an exclusivity basis the exiting operator full Thai speaking user base as well as their player acquisition channels with no upfront capital costs for our group and an agreement purely based on a revenue deal. This level of trust with another operator is only possible due to the extra public scrutiny we are held accountable too, generating trust in the longevity of our business and the relationships we built locally over the years. We will continue to leverage these in order to be able to expedite our growth in the markets we are in today and sourcing for similar deals will be part of the strategy.

Also it is important to understand that because our business is so lean and we focus on automation of operations and player experience we are an interesting business for a potential acquisition, either from an existing competitor present in the same markets looking to modernize or simply a new competitor looking to enter emerging markets, we believe we offer great value, particularly with the low-share price today and that over time as we keep delivering there is a higher possibility of such outcome happening.

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Investerarträff GoldBlue torsdag 27/6 kl 10,00, Birger Jarlsgatan 2, Stockholm. Anmälan till info@augment.se