1st October 2021 was an audacious day for the iGaming industry, as Esports Technologies announced the execution of an agreement for the acquisition of Aspire Global’s B2C business in one of the most exciting deals of recent times.
Founded five years ago in Las Vegas, Esports Technologies has fast established itself as one of the leading global providers of esports products, platforms and marketing solutions. The company operates a licensed online gambling platform and is also developing esports predictive gaming technologies that allow distribution to both customers and business partners.
The $75.9 million transaction that will see the company acquire Aspire is the culmination of five months of negotiations and comprises $58.3 million in cash, $11.7 million in a promissory note, and approximately $5.9 million worth of common stock. Finalisation will be completed on 30th November in what is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting industry developments of the year.
For its part, Esports Technologies has entered into binding agreements with investors for a private placement of $36.2 million, consisting of convertible preferred stock at an initial conversion of $28 per share, subject to future adjustments and warrants to purchase common stock. The conversion of the preferred stock and exercise of the warrants is subject to the receipt of shareholder approval.
The New Deal
Under the terms of the deal, Esports Technologies will acquire Aspire’s portfolio of B2C proprietary online casino and sportsbook brands, including Karamba, Hopa, Griffon Casino, BetTarget, Dansk777, and GenerationVIP.
Esports Technologies intends to utilise this multiple-brand acquisition to cross-sell esports wagering opportunities and to increase its esports revenue, player bet transactions, and customers.
Once the acquisition is completed, the two companies will enter into an agreement wherein Aspire will provide four years of managed services for the acquired brands, ensuring operational continuity, while allowing Esports Technologies to scale its operations in key markets.
Aaron Speach, Esports Technologies CEO said, “the acquisition of Aspire’s B2C business will be a transformative opportunity for us to accelerate growth by offering esports wagering to 1.25 million new deposited customers. Our company is in a strong position to benefit from the heightened popularity and growing interest in esports.”
The agreement is clearly a win-win situation, as attested by Tsachi Maimon, CEO of Aspire Global, who said: “Esports Technologies is a strong company with high growth ambitions and the perfect match for our B2C brands. With Aspire Global’s B2C brands, Esports Technologies gains leading, well-established brands, an excellent base for further growth, and a very talented team that contributed to the B2C’s growth. We are confident that Esports Technologies will take our B2C brands to the next level, and we welcome Karamba and the other B2C brands as our new partners.”
In essence, the resulting acquisition grants access to Aspire’s online sportsbook and casino – a new and expanding market – while Aspire can now offer esports to its clients, making it an attractive deal for both parties.
It is a market with huge potential, according to Mr Speach who explained, “the iGaming consumer is in the demographic that we look for, with 70 per cent falling between 18 and 40 years old. This has fantastic cross-sell potential which is why the assets are so exciting to us.”
“What is exciting,” he continued, “is that we currently offer the best odds. By improving the situation further, we plan to give our players a better chance of winning. This is entertainment at the end of the day and the more people win, the more likely they are to enjoy themselves and spread the word. We are going to show off those odds and our competition will lag behind.”
The 2022 launch of the Esports Book product, a regulated esports and sports wagering site, is aimed at Western Europe and North America, and will cross-sell to consumers from various Aspire brands, providing previously unavailable products.
Mr Speach revealed that, while a number of other companies were under consideration, it was Aspire’s focus on iGaming that was totally compatible with Esports’ vision for the future that made it the obvious choice.
To ensure that the agreement went smoothly, Esports Technologies brought in Chief Marketing Officer and industry veteran Mark Thorne, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry.
What’s Next for Esports Technologies?
During COVID-19, the esports industry grew exponentially due to the extent of cancelled in-person events. With these events now taking place again, the unparalleled rate of growth cannot continue but, Mr Speach shared, the market remains strong with a current base of 550 million esports fans.
Malta’s attraction of allowing access to a regulated market in Europe is also one that is not to be underestimated according to Mr Speach, and he remains convinced that the island “is full of talent.”
As for the future, it certainly looks bright for Esports Technologies.
“Our goal was to always grow through acquisitions,” he said. And the next two years certainly look to be exciting, as the CEO hinted to further acquisitions and product releases that will make esports even more accessible than ever before.
This feature was first carried in the Winter 2021/2022 edition of iGaming Capital magazine, the sister publication to iGamingCapital.mt
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He has held senior positions in a range of renowned iGaming companies, including Evolution Gaming, Tain, NYX, and SG Digital