Rivalry eyes further expansion after record-breaking results in 2022

Toronto-based Esports wagering company Rivalry has outlined its ambitions to expand the scope of its operations this year after making significant strides in 2022.

Publishing its business update to shareholders yesterday, the firm cited last year’s results – which demonstrated ‘enhanced profitability profile and brand execution’ – as setting the stage for ‘strengthened operating leverage and accelerated product development’ in 2023.

The operator also recently released its 2022 ‘Wrapped’ report, in which it noted the need for publishers to drive engagement further this year as the majority of revenues come from in-game transactions, citing research that found 69% of millennial NFL bettors watch more sports than usual if they place a bet on the game.

Rivalry achieved triple-digit year-on-year growth in both revenue (130% to $21.7m) and betting (181% to $186m) handle last year, with average month-over-month revenue growth accelerating to 32% through the first 10 months of the year.

Founded in Toronto in 2016, Rivalry went live in the province’s newly-regulated market in April 2022, making it the firm’s second fully-regulated market after obtaining a licence in Australia earlier in the year.

In addition to its expansion plans, Rivalry has also set objectives of becoming the leader in betting and entertainment globally for the next generation, building the most engaged brand and portfolio of IP in esports betting, and leveraging technology to innovate on product at every turn.

“With an ever-evolving gaming industry and a product suite still in the early stages of fulfilling our vision, we see a huge amount of market opportunity as we continue to trailblaze in this category,” noted Co-Founder and CEO Steven Salz. “We are eager to continue executing on our strategy with financial discipline and scaling purposefully toward profitability.”

Citing the continued growth of the global sports betting industry, which eclipsed $83bn last year and is set to grow at a CAGR of 10,2%, and in particular the video game industry, Rivalry is adopting a different strategy to entice the next generation of players.

“Our approach toward attracting the next generation of consumers is different from legacy operators. We scale through word of mouth and organic market entrenchment of brand equity that allows us to operate without a dependency on excess bonusing and player subsidies.

“This approach helped drive a 50% reduction year-over-year in bonus/promotional spend relative to our revenue, supporting our below-market cost of customer acquisition and further reducing our reliance on linear net new spend for growth. This is continuing to create the operating leverage that has set Rivalry on a path toward profitability.”

In order to drive continued growth in 2023, the firm is also launching a mobile app and expanding its esports offering, among other initiatives.

Salz concluded: “As we move into 2023, we’re eager to continue demonstrating the same operational excellence which has enabled us to stand out in a deeply competitive industry.”

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