1on1 - Eriks Nelsons on the future for DFS

1on1 - Eriks Nelsons on the future for DFS

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Champick CEO discusses their launch, the DK Fanduel merger, & the Juniper report

The DFS industry has been under the spotlight recently with the intended mega merger between the big hitters of FanDuel and Draftkings, and some big claims emanating from last week’s Juniper Research report.

Eriks Nelsons is the CEO and co-founder of Latvian daily fantasy sports operator Champick, a company which is relatively new to the scene having launched in May of this year. It is currently expanding and is looking to add to its teams in its Riga and Liepaja offices.

We had a chat with Eriks to discuss his thoughts on the merger, Juniper’s predictions and the future of the industry as a whole.

Totally Gaming: What does the seeming mega merger between Draftkings and Fanduel mean for start ups in the DFS space?

EN: Since the very first day we started Champick’s development we knew that we wanted to build a different business model to that of Draftkings or Fanduel because we did not believe that their business model can be profitable and scalable globally.

I am not doubting that their founders have made fantastic valuations but for us it was not an option to go in their direction and burn investor money in advertisements and marketing.

We have chosen to make our focus in markets where Fanduel and DraftKings are not dominating due to their limitations in scalability, and as such we do not see that the merger will influence us directly in next 12-24 months. This is unless after the merger they decide to expand their portfolio by adding a couple of other big DFS players from other continents.

TG: Juniper Research stated in a recent report that DFS consumer spend will double by 2021 to $5.3bn, is this an accurate assessment in your eyes?

EN: For me it’s hard to say, our focus is on our product growth hacking and ensuring rapid growth through strategic partners all around the world who wish to expand Champick in their local markets. We believe that focusing on ourselves will bring us results faster than analysing reports.

One thing is clear; DFS has grown, grows and will continue grow which is the main reason we are in this industry and believe that there is a bright future.

TG: Does the long term future of DFS lie in being integrated with bookmakers’ sportsbooks?

EN: Bookmakers’ sportsbooks are definitely one of the strategic B2B partners in the DFS industry which will play an important role, but I do not believe that B2C revenues through “entry fee” policy is the best and the only way that DFS platforms can be monetised.

I see many advantages for bookmakers’ sportsbooks to work with DFS platforms such as far lower user acquisition costs, better engagement and interaction, longer customer time on the platform etc, but then the downside is that many bookmakers in my experience are not ready to take risks and experiment with something new such as DFS.

I am happy to see that Mondogoal has clinched several important partnership deals in the industry and I hope it will lead to a snowball effect in 2017.

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