Finance the toughest challenge for Pitch ICE startups

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The GamCrowd survey of the startups competing in this year’s Pitch ICE competition taking place at the ICE Totally Gaming events this coming week in London has found that the toughest challenge for the participants has been sourcing funding for their business.

Of the 11 startups that took part in the survey, a majority of six said persuading investors to fund the company through to launch was the toughest challenge they had faced. The next hardest challenge for the companies taking part in the show was dealing with the knockbacks that are an inevitable part of the process of getting a business up-and-running.

Perhaps surprisingly, the survey found that participants had the least trouble with sourcing a bank account for their business. Companies are commonly thought to struggle to persuade high-street banks to enable them to even open accounts, let along source a loan. Perhaps less surprisingly, the startups surveyed had to date encountered no issues with arranging their payment processing partners.

Related to the question of getting investors on board, of the firms surveyed seven have received friend or family investment (two) or seed investment (five). The remaining four firms have to-date been bootstrapped and have had no investment as yet.

In terms of experience, the survey found that over 50 percent say they are very experienced in their chosen field with over five years spent between the founders in the sector. Only two companies said they have experience between the founders of less than two years.

When it came to the number of founders involved in the company, one firm has a single founder while a further four companies have two founders. Five firms have three founders and then two more have five partners involved.

Given all the firms are taking part in the Pitch ICE competition, it is perhaps no surprise that a large majority (over 80 percent) believe the sector is either somewhat receptive or very receptive to new ideas and innovation. Only two respondents said the industry was not at all receptive to innovation.

In terms of their hopes for their Pitch ICE session, a majority of over 50 percent said the ability to gain access to the rest of the industry at ICE was the bets thing about being involved in the competition.

The short GamCrowd Pitch ICE survey was undertaken to get a clearer picture of the pressures facing startups in the online gambling sector. Recent commentary has concentrated on the difficulties being encountered by companies aiming to enter the space, particularly when it comes to consumer-facing operations.

Yet, of the 11 companies that are taking part at Pitch ICE, five are B2C while the remaining six are all B2B. Of the five B2C, two are fantasy sports – MundoDT and VisualDraft – while the remaining three are all eSports propositions. The B2B propositions are spread across sports pools, blockchain and marketing and platform solutions.

Each of this year’s Pitch ICE contestants took place in the survey – RaceLotto (B2B), (B2C), Yamzu (B2B), MundoDT (B2C), Double R Quits (B2C), Dench eGaming Solutions (B2B), BettersRift (B2C), SkillCorner (B2B), 1SpinMillionaire (B2B), Coinform (B2B) and finally VisualDraft (B2C).

The contestants will be presenting to the audience at ICE Totally Gaming over the first two days of the event before the winner is picked on the Thursday. Previous winners of Pitch ICE include innovative games studio and games designer Gamevy and last year’s winner PlayVenture.

GamCrowd would like to extend our thanks to all the participating companies that took the time to take part in this survey.