Altenar is a sportsbook software and services provider, who continued a pattern of punching above its weight in 2018 by posting ‘doubled’ revenues for the third year in a row.
The company powered a successful 12-month period that saw Wplay.co – the first approved licensee for the regulated market in South America – grow to become one of the early leaders in the region. Furthermore, Altenar closed the year by testing a new responsive sports betting client for some of its smaller partners.
We asked Altenar CEO Stanislav Silin for his take on what has contributed to such a successful year.
SBC: What stands you out against the software providers chosen by the other licensees for the regulated Colombian market? How much of a differentiator has the Altenar Bonus Tool been for the market?
SS: What stands us out is our ability to respond to customer needs relatively quickly, both in terms of aspects the players see, such as front-end design and layout, but also what they feel in terms of betting experience: how our trading and support team closely collaborates with the customer service team of Wplay to serve the players in best way possible.
The relationship with the operator, teamwork between the various departments between our companies, and the feeling of mutual trust eventually creates an environment that is comfortable for the player.
Coincidentally, Altenar Bonus Tool – something that is quite effective across our entire network – was not used in Colombia initially and is still somewhat underused for Wplay, due to the nature of the market, however, it’s a great customer acquisition tool elsewhere – operators that use it really like it.
SBC: Of course, it’s not just about Colombia, given that you are supporting the running of operators spanning multiple countries across Europe and South America; how do you meet the challenge of catering for an operator whose audience is a mix of VIPs and bonus abusers?
SS: That is precisely why we need such a good cooperation with operator’s teams, including good personal connections between the key individual contributors on either side. Our ability to be flexible and to use our experience to understand the challenges the operator is facing, helps us come up with rather creative solutions, despite being constrained by running a modestly sized trading and risk management team.
Besides that, we are already used to a mixed audience, since we are supporting a very diverse list of operators across continents and jurisdictions, where information obtained from one player group or operator helps improve and prevent such abuse elsewhere. We have some very talented and dedicated people working shifts and they love sports betting.
SBC: Last year, you teased the launch of a newly designed sports betting client; has this gone out yet? If so, what has the feedback been?
SS: We have released it to a few smaller clients, towards the end of 2018, and are now gearing up for launching it with some of our larger sportsbooks. The feedback is very positive, especially on mobile, as we have significantly improved that aspect, with our responsive client. Additionally, and in parallel, we’ve completely revamped our hosting infrastructure, going 10x network capacity upgrade to cater for growth we expect in 2019, and to support the traffic peaks.
SBC: Altenar was confirmed as the sportsbook platform provider for Klondaika ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia; how much pressure were you under to refine your product for the Latvian market? How much of a challenge is it to refine products for specific markets?
SS: Actually, Latvian front-end is not deeply region specific, apart from the usual language customisations and content ordering; I would say that Colombian or even Mexican front-end is a lot more region specific. With Mexican operators, you are practically getting your product ready for the US, as the look and feel the local audience expects is very similar to US betting.
The challenge to customise content for players in different countries is certainly there, but there is no other way around it, but to build modular and flexible front-ends, where one has to put effort into elaborating every detail, and go market by market. This is a continuous process of refinement, that never stops.
Speaking of region specific content, we are now in the process of launching two regulated clients in Italy, and that is where region specific gets to another level, as that is not only just front-end. You are practically plugged into the Italian government betting system, with its own complexities such as rather specific rounding rules for combination bets, and the need to be very precise and very fiscal. We like the challenge, and are proud to share this mentality across our entire Altenar team.
SBC: What is next big challenge for Altenar?
SS: In the year that just finished, we transformed the company to be in a position to go after regulated markets more easily. In 2019, we expect to convert this ability into launching customers in new territories (and there is a pipeline already), with a view to have Altenar positioned in the top five sports betting providers in the industry, within the next couple of years. I think we are not far off that target already.