Flutter's innovation Alpha Hub

Flutter seeking to partner with emerging tech startups to improve Paddy Power's retail experience

2022-05-11
Reading time 2:29 min

Sports betting and gaming giant Flutter Entertainment is seeking to enhance the retail offering of its popular Paddy Power brand and, to that end, the company is looking for emerging tech start-ups to participate.

Flutter’s call for retail innovation is being carried through Alpha Hub, the company’s “global innovation community.” As part of “Paddy’s Start-up Showcase,” Alpha Hub is looking to partner with start-ups “who can provide bold and tenacious” ideas to a brief focused on three main areas.

These three pillars are Data & Analytics, In-Store Experience, and Future of Self-Service Terminals. Start-ups that can provide new ideas that don’t fit the brief have a wildcard option to submit solutions on how Paddy Power can create safe, entertaining experiences for customers.

The successful start-ups will receive support from both the Paddy Power and Alpha Hub teams in the form of paid proof of concept trials across Paddy Power’s UK and Irish retail estate, as well as insight into the Paddy Power retail business, product feedback, and tailored mentoring sessions with Paddy Power Retail executives.

“Companies will also receive introductions to other Flutter Entertainment brands and Alpha Hub’s extended network of partners,” a press release informs. To participate in Paddy’s Start-up Showcase innovation call, start-ups will have to follow three stages.

First of all, interested parties must submit their applications, which close on 20th May 2022 and can be submitted online. Afterward, there will be a Pitch to Retail, where select start-ups will be invited for an initial conversation with the Paddy Power Retail team over Zoom.

And lastly, stage three of the process includes Workshops, Demos and a Final Presentation. It is described by Flutter as “an action-packed day” of focused discussions, workshops and discussions with a variety of Flutter stakeholders.

Flutter’s move to improve its retail experience through “frictionless, intuitive self-service functionality” and “novel, immersive viewing experiences” comes as bettors worldwide increasingly flock towards online wagering.

The company is seeking not to leave the retail channel behind in the tech race, and lists among the main objectives of its call to start-ups the improvement of data collection and analysis from shop activity, better customer support and engagement, and experiences “that can’t be replicated online.”

The opportunity could be a major one for tech start-ups given Paddy Power’s status within the gaming industry. The brand, which was first launched in 1988, is one of the most distinctive in the space, serving thousands of customers from 625 retail betting shops across the UK and Ireland.

“If you follow the world of retail, there’s a very good chance you’ve heard of Paddy Power,” commented Rob Smith, Head of Emerging Technologies at Flutter. “The brand is one of the most eye-catching and popular in the industry, with a huge retail footprint.”

“But we never rest on our laurels,” added the executive. “Although we have the scale of a leader, we maintain the mindset of a challenger, so we’re constantly innovating in a race to the top for our customers. If your company can help us do that, we’d love to hear from you.”

In exchange, offers the chance “to run a paid proof of concept” in its retail estate, with the support of a global network powered by Flutter Entertainment, the parent company for some of the world’s largest betting and gaming brands, including FanDuel, The Stars Group and BetFair.

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