Founded in 2018, Simplebet entered the competitive gambling industry market as a B2B product development company, creating a new category of in-play betting called micro-markets. In an exclusive video interview with Yogonet, Simplebet’s Co-Founder and CEO Chris Bevilacqua talked about what micro-markets are and the importance they have to the betting industry. The executive explained that this is the first time that this type of product, where you can bet on every pitch in a baseball game or every at-bat in a baseball game or every play of an NFL or a college football game, or every shot or every possession of a basketball game is available at scale. He also anticipated plans to expand this technology into more sports, with more US operators, new betting features and the first fan engagement product for this market.
“Over the last 12 months or so, we've been live with our real money betting products and we've seen that our micro-markets are making up 20% to 25% of all of the in-play betting,” he stated, and added, “We think that over time it'll prove to be more accessible to a casual fan and more interesting to a casual fan to participate in these kinds of quick in and out wagering experiences where you don't have to sit for a two or three-hour game and wait to know whether you won or lost, you know, whether you won or lost on the next pitch in a baseball game in 30 seconds”.
In February and ahead of the Super Bowl, the company entered into an agreement with Betway to launch its fully automated real-money betting products live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa, and Indiana. The CEO points out that Simplebet has plans to expand with Betway outside the US as well, stating that “products like Simplebet's in-play, micro betting products are really what are going to attract the casual fans into the wagering ecosystem, the real money betting ecosystem,” and that “companies like Betway stand to benefit from bringing in new customers into the ecosystem.”
Additionally, in September last year the company entered into a partnership with DraftKings’ sportsbook, and since then launched college football, Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA, and just recently college basketball, in time for March Madness. Bevilacqua said that the company has seen very positive feedback on its various launches, “we're seeing high volume across the board. The margins are very strong”, he explained.
Furthermore, the company is aiming to improve its suite of micro-betting products by adding ‘scripts’, which he explained as “correlated micro betting instances” or “micro-parlays”. Simplebet is also contemplating adding towards the end of 2022 or beginning of 2023, other sports such as soccer, hockey, and auto-racing.
The executive explained that as the regulatory environment, mainly due to COVID, has legalized gambling in many more states a lot faster, making the market much larger and faster than it was just a few years ago, additionally there has been a great leap forward in technology and the advancement of technology, such as 5G and low latency video technology where you can join the speed of the data with the speed of the live video and create single-screen products, an area in which Simplebet itself is much in the middle of with its micro-market technology platform. He believes that in two to three years from now real product innovation will be precisely in the conjoining of live video with low latency betting feeds.
With an eye to the future, the company plans to continue to distribute its product, on DraftKings, Betway as well as Intralot, a small operator that's in D.C. and Montana, stating that it's also “getting close to a couple of new operators in the US”.
Additionally, the company plans to announce its first fan engagement product with a big regional sports network (RSN), a free-to-play experience where players can win tokens, cash prizes, tickets, or merchandise. This would be the first deal of its kind for an RSN in the US in terms of in-play micro betting.
“We're at the very early stages in the US market, with product innovation. Because the current way that the market is working where operators have to go out and spend large sums of money to get new customers and the customer acquisition costs to get new customers is more like a race to the top versus a race to the bottom. It's who can spend more money to get a new customer, but that's not sustainable. And so I think the next iteration is going to be where can operators now create differentiated product and user experiences and less friction in how they bring a new customer into their platform. And so I think you're going to see a lot of innovation around the product, which is really the area that we're situated in,” Bevilacqua concluded.