The sale of SportCaller to leading US entertainment company Bally’s Corporation earlier in the year for a fee of €40 million was marked as a big step forward for the Ireland-based company – but how did what started out as a hobby turn into a multi-million dollar business?
What is it?
One of the masterminds behind SportCaller, Cillian Barry, joins Gary Fox’s The Entrepreneur Experiment podcast to discuss the acquisition of the firm and where it all began for the software provider.
Who is it?
Gary Fox, Host of The Entrepreneur Experiment
Cillian Barry, Co-Founder of SportCaller
What is being said?
Charting SportCaller’s ‘overnight success’, Barry began: “We are a software provider to the sports betting industry and the sports media industry. We provide free-to-play prediction games and we work with clients in the UK, Ireland, the US, Australia and elsewhere.
“We’ve been doing that for 10 or 11 years and we had a few different lives during that journey but what it culminated in was a recent sale to a US publicly-listed company called Bally’s, which is a large casino group going into the sports betting business.”
He explained how the firm tapped into the ‘rapidly’ expanding sport betting market in the US by investing into what started out as a hobby: “My wife’s family are mad sports fans – mostly horse racing but anything from football to darts to snooker. Anything that you can bet on! She’s got lots of brothers and one of those brothers was just out of university and he was working as a hedge fund administrator. I don’t think he was enjoying it that much and I said, ‘maybe we should do something together’, and this thing called RaceCaller was born.
“We had a bit of a think about it over the time and we decided that there was maybe a gap in the market for something with horse racing and fans sharing tips and chatting about the next race. Most of that was still very much traditional media, so you got your tips from the guy on the radio or the guy on the TV or in the paper.
“But there were a lot of fans out there that spent a lot of time studying the format and were really passionate about it and knew a great deal so we thought we could create a community or a discussion forum where people came together and shared their opinions.”
Why should I watch it?
To learn about the roots of starting up a business in the sports betting sector and how to establish yourself within the sector.
Where can I see more?