Behind the business with Buddybet
Jarod Epps, CEO of Buddybet, a distruptive online betting platform takes Bdaily behind the business.
What key challenges has your company recently faced?
Building a unique and innovative betting platform from scratch? Raising funding for something nobody’s ever tried before? Getting a gambling license? It’s hard to know where to begin. Everything about BuddyBet has been a challenge. Disrupting an industry worth billions of dollars isn’t an easy job but it’s been surprisingly good fun so far. We’re on a mission to bring pride and passion back to a betting industry that, for far too long, has been dominated by number-crunchers.
What is your biggest achievement over the past 12 months?
Our pre-cash launch, in September of last year, was a massive achievement, given that we’d started out with little more than a few ideas a few months earlier. Launching cash-betting in January was probably the biggest step we’ve taken to date, though. While we also offer virtual-currency bets and bets for actions or forfeits—“loser runs round the block dressed in women’s lingerie,” and that kind of thing—I don’t think there’s much future in a betting site where you can’t bet money as well. Some of our competitors in the “social betting” sector seem to disagree but I don’t think they’ll be making that argument for much longer.
Away from work, my proudest moment was the birth of my sons, Jackson and Nolan, in October. I like to keep busy!
What is your biggest focus for the coming year?
Having built a fun, user-friendly, peer-to-peer betting system, our focus now is doing the deals that let us take it to existing online communities. Initially we’re focussing on sports news sites and fan forums, integrating co-branded fan-versus-fan betting into some of the UK’s most popular sports sites. The first step was a partnership deal with Digital Sports Group, which we’re very excited about. That deal sees all 188 of Footymad’s football fan sites offering a fully branded version of fan-versus- fan betting that operates on the BuddyBet platform. We believe it’ll be the first of many.
Beyond that, we’re looking to monetize peer-to-peer games—the ones our target users are already playing online—by allowing people to bet on the outcome of their competition.
If you had to choose one top piece of advice for someone just starting out in business, or is currently operating within your industry sector, what would it be?
I have a funny feeling the phrase has already been taken, but my advice would be “just do it”. In the online gambling industry in particular, there’s almost limitless potential for fast-moving start- ups. The market leaders have been slow to grasp the possibilities of interactivity and social media, and don’t offer much more than an online version of the traditional bookmaker’s shop. That seems pretty short-sighted, and I can’t imagine BuddyBet alone is going to be the sole driver of innovation in this industry.
Can you share with us your view of the current landscape of business, in your region or generally and where your organisation sits within it?
Apart from the industry dinosaurs I’ve already mentioned, there’s no shortage of start-ups trying to find the right formula for building a successful social betting site. Most of them will fall by the wayside because they’ll fail to attract the number of users needed to make the B2C model work, and none of them has the combination of B2B and B2C elements that BuddyBet offers. We get the best of both worlds: By striking partnerships with third-party sites, we can “gamblify” those communities, creating liquidity on our own B2C platform.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .