Taking a look at the Pitch ICE contestants each year gives us a great overview of which areas and sub-sectors in gaming and gambling the entrepreneurs and startups in the sector are focusing on.
This year, more than previously, it is clear that eSports remains a huge area of focus. Of the 10 companies that will be presenting at ICE Totally Gaming which takes place in London’s Excel between February 7-9, we can see that four are eSports-related.
First up there is BettersRift, a free-to-play eSports betting offering which takes the view that gamers are not gamblers (as yet) and therefore free contests will be the way to attract these players to a site.
Next we have Double R Quits which is an Irish-focused eSports platform allowing ordinary players to compete for prizes or cash and “avoids the stigma” of needing to be an expert player to take part in eSports contests.
Similarly allowing players to join eSports contests and win money is Yamzu which positions itself as a platform for both consumers and businesses. Lastly on the eSports front we have PVP.me, a P2P eSports betting exchange which has previously appeared on the gambling conference circuit at EiG.
A similarly familiar name is 1SpinMillionaire which won last autumn’s EiG Launchpad contest in Berlin. The company is a promotion and customer-retention platform that allows operators to offer extra wins without issuing new tickets or bets.
DFS is again in the spotlight with MundoDT, a Latin American-focused fantasy sport offering which says the Latam market is under-penetrated by fantasy sports despite the huge popularity of football.
Looking to horseracing is Australian-based RaceLotto which aims to reinvent the racing form guide as an easy-to-play game which it hopes can appeal to a new racing audience.
On the supply side, we have multi-product platform provide Dench, a turnkey platform covering all customer management, payments and gaming services. The company says it has a revolutionary way to handle customer data and translate it into actionable insights.
The final three are similar on the supply side. First there is IFSolutions which hopes to provide operators with new variants card games, including blackjack and baccarat.
Then there is also Skillcorner which provides dynamic visualisations of sporting events drawn from the data available from the event in real-time. The company hopes to provide a low-cost version of live sport for operators that might not be willing to pay for full broadcasting rights.
Chris North, chief executive at GamCrowd, said the spread of companies in this year’s Pitch ICE competition was interesting. “It is clear that eSports remains a huge area of interest for startups, and I don’t think this is surprising,” he said.
“eSports has excited a lot of interest among the wider gambling sector and there is clearly the potential for that market to be huge in the years to come. Generally, the spread of companies involved in this year’s competition is fascinating and the I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the wide spread of ideas that will be on display.”
North concluded: “Pitch ICE shows how innovative the sector can be and the ways that people are looking at pushing at the boundaries of the sector. I can’t wait to see how each of these companies present at the show in February.”