Interview with Adam Fiske, CEO

Cipher: "We have focused on developing technology with a view to scale across our B2C brands, B2B media and operator partnerships"

Left to right: Adam Fiske, Nick Slade, and Katie Prowd; three of four Cipher co-founders.
Reading time 3:30 min

Earlier this month, sports betting company Cipher Sports Technology Group closed a $5 million Series A funding round set to accelerate its growth into the legal US sports betting market. The company, which also does business in Australia and plans on expanding to other countries, owns and operates consumer-facing websites such as in the US, and also generates revenue in the business-to-business channel. Cipher is a fairly recent endeavor, formed last November through the merger of iRival Media and Hypometer Technologies, both Australian betting companies.

In conversation with Yogonet, CEO Adam Fiske talked about the new opportunities opened by the Series A funding round, the growing interest from investment groups, and plans for the brand. He also discusses the latest technology being leveraged by the group, and a recent participation in SBC Summit North America.

Cipher STG has now closed a $5 million Series A funding round. How does the company intend to use this funding, and what new options will this open for the business?

Initially, we are taking our proven strategy and accelerating this with additional headcount, resources and marketing spend. We have now set up our office in New York and have a growing team both here in the UD, and in Melbourne, Australia all collaborating to execute this strategy.

It’s great to see new markets starting to open up and increasing the TAM, and whilst we’d like this to move a little faster we’re definitely taking a long-term approach.

The company was shortlisted for the Sports Affiliate of the Year Award at SBC Summit North America in May, which Cipher says put it on the radar of investment groups and venture capital funds. What can you tell us about this nomination? What conversations has Cipher had with these groups and funds?

We were extremely proud to be shortlisted for the award alongside some of the biggest players in our industry.

Early on, there was a lot of curiosity from the market around who we were and what we were doing which allowed us to build a great network here in the US, albeit whilst we were stuck in Australia during the pandemic. This has only increased now that we have a team on the ground and are back meeting people in person and attending conferences etc.  

And whilst we have always believed in our strategy and approach, the award shortlisting gave us further confidence we were building a great company for both the US and international markets.

Cipher launched its flagship consumer brand in North America in mid-2020. What has the reception to Dimers been like thus far, and what future plans does Cipher have for this product? And what can you tell us in regards to opportunities in general in both the B2B and B2C segments?

To be honest, it was much harder than we thought it would be early on, building the brand in a market where our competitors were spending considerably more money than us. Certainly had its challenges, but we saw a significant change at the beginning of last NFL season and are excited to see what we can achieve this year.

Currently, we are working on a number of new innovations for NFL and College Football, focusing on tools and content designed to engage, educate and entertain sports bettors. We are also developing our FIFA World Cup offering which is one of the advantages of being a global company.

The Cipher team brings to the US experience it has gathered in its Australian operations. What role could this expertise and precedent play in this North American expansion?

Whilst we are approaching the US differently to Europe and Australia, this experience has helped us catch up quickly and benefit from learnings gathered from mistakes made in the past.

Having existing products and partnerships in Australia has also allowed us to leverage existing data and technology to build from, and also case studies to share with new partners.

The company describes its proprietary technology as “best-in-class” and as utilizing advanced predictive analytics. How does it stand out from the competition, and what are some of the main technical innovations the company is seeking to leverage?

One of the innovations we have focused on has been developing technology with a view to scale across our B2C brands, B2B media and operator partnerships, and also create the opportunity to offer white label solutions to anyone with a relevant audience.

What this means is that we have multiple opportunities to enter new markets and partnerships, whether it be new countries, different languages, or sports/leagues that are being underserved when it comes to independent sports betting content.

Part of the Cipher team attended the latest edition of SBC Summit North America, held July 12-14. What can you tell us about this participation, and in regards to networking within the event?

SBC Summit North America was a great event and an important few days for our team. We had five of our team attending to meet with a whole range of existing and potential partners, got to hear from some of the great leaders in our industry, and attended the SBC Nth America Awards dinner where we were shortlisted for Sports Affiliate of The Year.

Rodrigo Capeans
by Rodrigo Capeans