The acquisition terms have not been disclosed and the agreement is part of Entain’s strategy to extend into new entertainment experiences.
The UK sports betting and gaming company said in a statement that by acquiring the technology platform, products and team of Unikrn it expects to further enhance its offer for the “exciting and growing” market of interactive entertainment.
The company estimates that together the esports wagering and social casino-related markets could add an incremental $20 billion+ in addressable markets “by 2025”.
The acquisition is subject to completion, which is expected to happen “later this year”.
The Unikrn team is proudly taking the next step and joining @EntainGroup. Thanks to all of our customers, fans, staff, partners & investors for making this possible.— Unikrn (@UnikrnCo) August 12, 2021
This transition will come with some service interruptions. More details: https://t.co/nLo8Zz6qLs pic.twitter.com/EfkKYFwAea
“The worlds of media, entertainment and gaming are converging. Customers want a richer experience, including more content, interactive experiences, new and free to play games, as well as social content,” said Entain in a press release.
Founded in 2014, Unikrn is a esport company with a specific focus on wagering and gaming, and has developed technologies in the fields of virtual esports, streamer betting and bet on yourself products, as well as more traditional options such as esportsbook.
This acquisition is part of Entain’s plan to extend its influence within the esports rapidly growing market, which counts with over 450 million viewers and a specific interest amongst the 18-35 demographic.
Today, we set out a blueprint that outlines our future as a world leader in sports betting, #gaming and interactive #entertainment.— Entain (@EntainGroup) August 12, 2021
We're investing c.£100m in innovation and welcoming @UnikrnCo to the Entain team!
Take a sneak peek into our future 👇https://t.co/Vfq0iQeoXM pic.twitter.com/tINj4Jc6bF
“Skill-based wagering for casual esports gamers is emerging, but existing operators lack scale providing Entain with a clear opportunity in a new area related to our core expertise,” the company commented.
In order to further cater to said demand, Entain has also announced the appointment of Justin Dellario, VP, Global Esports at Twitch, as the company’s new Head of esports.
“Justin joins from Twitch, the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in both esports content and operational delivery,” described Entain in a press release.
Furthermore, the company also finds a “clear opportunity” in the casual mobile gaming market which has grown rapidly in recent years, including categories such a social casino, which aligns with Entain’s “own strategy” and “core offering”.
“High growth categories that can drive high levels of acquisition and engagement will further increase our flywheel effects enabling us to grow our customer base, increase retention and drive revenues,” said Entain.