Sportradar has confirmed in a statement that it has purchased Optima for an undisclosed fee. Optima is a Spanish sportsbook, also offering an iGaming platform, meaning that Sportradar has now become a sports betting provider. It’s an interesting move for the company that started life as a sports data and stats gathering enterprise, but one that the company’s Chief Executive, Carsten Koerl, believes puts Sportradar in ‘prime position’ to achieve its aims.
It allows Sportradar to become a betting provider with a fully integrated turnkey solution. The specific details of the deal haven’t been confirmed, but it is ‘effective immediately’ according to the announcement. Optima was founded back in 2012, whilst Sportradar dates back even further thanks to its foundation at the turn of the millennium. The Optima owner, Jacob Lopez, has described the move as the ‘next natural step’ for the company.
Who Are Sportradar?
The first thing to look is who Sportradar actually are. The company began life in August of 2000 in Trondheim, Norway with the name Market Monitor. Petter Fornæss and Tore Steinkjer created a company with the aim of offering online bookmakers a service that was based on so-called crawler technology. This had been created as part of a thesis during studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Market Monitor then worked with partners from Germany and Austria in order to create betradar.com the following year. This allowed betting companies to monitor betting markets, giving them reports that they could then work from. Carsten Koerl then joined the company and took on 51% of the shares. The founding of Sportradar AG took place in 2007, becoming a parent company for the other companies under the group’s control.
Over the years that followed, Sportradar began to expand more and more. One of the biggest moments came in 2013 when they company became the majority shareholder for Sportstat in Usk, Wales. That preceded the company’s move to buy the American company SportsData, which did a similar thing to Sportstat. One of the company’s chief offerings is the ability for law enforcement agencies to detect match fixing on account of betting activity.
Sportradar cover more than 325,000 different sporting events, offering information to the likes of Fox Sports and Google as well as Facebook. The company also provides bookmakers including Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes with services including compiling odds for both ante-post and In-Play betting. They also offer a service that allows bookmakers to monitor the market and ensure that the odds that they are offering are in-line with their competitors.
Who Are Optima?
Optima was founded in Spain in 2012 by Jacob Lopez, who had previously been working as the Chief Technology Officer for Stan James. It is a sports betting and gaming software solution, for which it uses its own platform and products to deliver betting capabilities to numerous clients.
It is an omni-channel business, which has won numerous awards for its work since its foundation in the Spanish city of Seville. Offering an iGaming platform and a sportsbook, it’s not hard to see why Sportradar felt it was a sensible acquisition, given that the company wasn’t able to offer them as part of its service before now.
What The Acquisition Means
The purchase of Optima by Sportradar means that Sportradar is able to extend its betting services portfolio. It can now be declared to be be a full-service business-to-business trading, betting, data and player management platform, which gives it immense scope in a very competitive industry.
Those in change of Sportradar believes that they have now become a ‘one-stop shop’ on a global scale for those looking for a complete turnkey solution. Their sports betting and iGaming platform will be supported by the already market-leading risk management, sports date and marketing services.
Once they begin to regulate it’s believed that Sportradar will look to target clients in both established and emerging markets. One of the interesting things is that the risk management and sports data side of the business will remain ‘platform-agnostic’, meaning that they’ll continue to be able to offer their services to partners that are already active with the company.
What Those Concerned Are Saying About The Move
Lopez was quick to point out that there are ‘numerous and evident product synergies’ between his company and Sportradar. He described it as the ‘perfect fit’, saying that it would become a ‘fully integrated one-stop shop solution for sports betting and e-gaming operators around the world’. He also declared his excitement at the combination of ‘the leading trading, risk management and betting entertainment services with the leading integral omnichannel sports betting and gaming platform’.
It was a sentiment echoed by Koerl, who said, “This acquisition puts us in prime position to achieve our aim of becoming the world’s leading supplier of modular turnkey betting services and solutions”. He also spoke about the fact that Optima make use of the ‘best-in-breed technology’ in order to provide their clients with flexible platform that are amongst the most advanced in the business. He spoke of his ‘delight’ at welcoming Optima into the Sportradar family.
The news of the deal between the two companies began to emerge in betting circles a week or so ago. It is not the only one that has come to the fore, with the agreement between The Stars Group and Flutter Entertainment also making headlines. It’s likely that the new flurry or mergers are due to the ever-growing opportunity to break into the US market, where Sportradar already has a good reputation and a foothold. As more companies enter the market and require a full-service solution, the merger of Sportradar and Optima will be well-placed to take advantage.