Ahead of his participation in the SBC Digital Latinoamérica conference and exhibition on 2 – 3 March, bwise Media’s Managing Director – LATAM Max De Muro talked to us about some of the investment opportunities emerging in the region.

The anticipated spread of regulated online gambling in Latin America, as more countries aim to emulate the success of the Colombian market, looks set to create potentially lucrative opportunities for tech entrepreneurs with an interest in the industry.

The improving environment for betting and gaming-related start-ups in the region is of particular interest to bwise Media. While the company is best known for its performance marketing and sales optimisation services – which help betting operators to drive customer acquisition via targeted advertising on live score services such as 365Scores and BeSoccer – it also runs an investment fund. 

bwise’s fund specialises in start-up apps in the live score, casino and affiliate space, and acts as an angel investor, providing both funding and the strategic advice the new businesses need at key stages of their growth plans. 

De Muro will be discussing some of the issues related to investments in the region’s gambling industry when he speaks on the ‘M&A and Sports Betting’ panel at SBC Digital Latinoamérica. Here he shares some thoughts on both the landscape for start-ups and the role of live score apps in the betting industry. 

The Latin American online betting and gaming market looks set for strong growth over the next few years as more countries regulate. What sort of opportunities does that create for start-ups?

Max De Muro: As long as the markets become regulated in a business-friendly way and with a long-term plan, different types of investors  – seed, venture capital etc – will be attracted to them. They will then start to scout different actors in the entrepreneurship ecosystem to find the next golden nugget. 

This means that many initiatives which already live within the gaming space in Latin America might evolve or look to create a new business unit dedicated to the igaming industry.

For entrepreneurs looking to launch a new app in the sports or casino space, what are the advantages of using an angel investor?

MDM: The big one is scalability. Many start-ups go live first in one GEO to test the product and, as soon as they validate their KPI metrics, they get ready to scale up the business into different GEOs. 

At this point, a capital injection may be needed to speed up the growth strategy.

Users of live score apps are obviously all big sports fans. How can betting operators use such apps to reach those fans and drive acquisition?

MDM: The opportunity for betting operators is indeed positive, as long as they understand how they can integrate their odds and hyper-targeted media within each live score app. 

Data intelligence on live score apps is incredible. They can show exactly what their audience wants, for example, hyper-customised player and club fans advertising.

What advice would you give to live score app owners about how to monetise their product?

MDM: Most of them can monetise well with traditional products such as Google’s Admob, but the opportunity to tap into an extremely profitable channel with the integration of betting operators is tremendous.

And finally, what are you most looking forward to at SBC Digital Latinoamérica?

MDM: The LATAM igaming industry is at a very early stage when it comes to innovation. If we can match regulation with innovation, our chances of success increase dramatically and that’s what we are looking forward to being part of.

Max De Muro will join the SBC Digital Latinoamérica ‘M&A and Sports Betting’ panel, which also features Patrick O’Neill (Co-Founder, Sherlock Communications) and Christian Tirabassi (Senior Partner, FICOM Leisure), at 2pm ART on 3 March. Register for SBC Digital Latinoamérica for free here.

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