The competition in the sports betting platform sector is fierce, with some of the biggest brands in gambling technology vying for high-value contracts from operators. While it may be a packed space filled with well-known companies, that has not deterred SB22 from entering it and launching a proprietary platform product it believes has the potential to be transformative for the industry.
SBC Americas sat down with the SB22 team – Vik Shrestha (Chief Commercial Officer), Vladimir Jovanovic (Chief Operating Officer), and Marko Savkovic (Chief Technology Officer) – to find out more about the company’s new products, why they have shunned the technologies traditionally used in the sports betting industry, and the inspiration they’ve taken from fintech and VR.
SBC: SB22 is one of the challenger brands in sportsbook technology; could you begin by telling us a little about the background of the company and its team?
We are proud of the fact that our software development team is made up of over 30% women and led by Maja Maljkovic, VP of Engineering, who is a true superstar when it comes to leadership and innovation in software development.
Vik Shrestha: SB22 is a combination of veterans from multiple industries including gaming, fintech, and virtual reality technology. Our team of 64 highly talented individuals is focused on building a modern platform that will disrupt the sports betting and igaming industry.
SBC: What does SB22’s initial product offering consist of?
Vik Shrestha: Our core technology is our proprietary platform that has been built specifically for the U.S. market and GLI-33 Standards for Event Wagering Systems. The platform has been developed using modern software development methodologies, which allows us to offer new features and integrations at a rapid pace.
The initial offering consists of native iOS and Android mobile apps and a built-in PAM that utilizes AI and ML capabilities to drive system-generated promotions and retention offers that are personalized.
Our goal is to provide operators with more automation and ways to differentiate, so they can ultimately focus on profitability. We will also offer retail betting, igaming, and an app for wearables.
SBC: What specific problems faced by the industry did your team set out to solve when they began work on the platform?
Vladimir Jovanovic: As entertainment, media, and betting converge, the key problem in the industry’s evolution is the reliance on legacy technology that was often built more than 15 years ago and for different markets.
Scaling a business and having a stable platform while building new features is almost impossible to achieve with legacy technology, especially when most of the effort and resources spent are on maintaining the existing business.
SBC: How does SB22’s approach differ from that of some of the more established sportsbook technology providers?
Vladimir Jovanovic: We invested in building a framework for our technology in-house rather than relying on a third-party framework. While this approach was more complicated, we wanted to build a platform that is extremely stable, scalable, and as future-proof as possible.
Additionally, since we do not have any reliance on legacy technology, it allows us to integrate with multiple third-party companies that offer modern solutions in areas such as KYC, geolocation, payments, and CRM and have their solutions work as intended.
SBC: Your team includes engineers with experience of fintech and VR projects; what can the sports betting technology industry learn from those sectors?
Marko Savkovic: During the last five years, we have seen a revolution in VR hardware and software. The sports betting industry is a great vertical to take the best from gamified experiences as consumer and enterprise success stories.
With the experience our team has, we are able to offer a unique blend of the latest technologies, giving simplicity to the players and opening up the market to consumers that have no experience with betting until now.
SBC: There’s lots of talk about the potential of Web3 and Metaverse technologies to transform the way people interact with the internet. Are there any emerging technologies that you envisage transforming the online sportsbook sector over the next few years?
Marko Savkovic: We expect that people will want a tailor-made experience utilizing these technologies. To some extent, sports betting as an enterprise is ready for highly-visual immersive experiences, however, some things will have to remain centralized due to legislation.
SB22 has created a unique way to mix the metaverse with video streaming and sports betting that we believe will lead to a much more cost-effective way for operators to acquire and retain customers.
Marko Savkovic is set to speak on the ‘Metaverse – Exploring Immersive Experiences & Technologies’ panel at SBC Summit Barcelona 2022, the Global Betting & iGaming Show, which takes place on September 20-22 at Fira Barcelona Montjuïc.