Philippe Chaix is the CMO and Co-Founder at Betters’ Rift, one of the four esports companies in the GamCrowd Pitch ICE start-up competition this year.
Based in Paris, Betters’ Rift is an esports betting platform with a gaming store attached meaning players can win prizes by betting ‘crystals’. This is the fourth in our Pitch ICE Perfect series ahead of the conference in London next month!
Esports Insider: What made you decide to enter into the Pitch ICE GamCrowd start-up competition?
Phillipe: As a new startup in a relatively new market, esports betting and gamification, we are currently looking for funds to grow our business and clients within the iGaming industry.
The Pitch ICE Gamcrowd competition seemed like the best place to do just that! We were part of the SiGMA Start-up Pitch competition in Malta in November, which was also organised by Gamcrowd so we figured we would stay in the circuit.
Esports Insider: What do you think of the competition? Four esports companies in there…
BettersRift: Esports is growing very, very fast and it’s only normal to find more and more gambling start-ups trying to cater to this new audience.
“Betting has to adapt in order to cater to their (esports fans’) needs. There are many different ways to do that and there’s room for everyone”
We’re genuinely happy to see these new competitors as it means more and more people are interested in esports and are carrying the message that esports matters. Even more, given the current instability of esports, more start-ups and more iGaming companies in esports means a faster route towards regulating the market which we believe is the best way to handle betting.
Another interesting point is that each company has its own take on esports betting and how to handle it. We believe esports fans are a very interesting, new audience and betting has to adapt in order to cater to their needs. There are many different ways to do that and there’s room for everyone.
Esports Insider: How was 2016 for BettersRift?
BettersRift: 2016 was the year of our launch! We officially founded the company in July 2016 and launched the new version of our platform in September.
“Operators need to completely redesign their user experience and offer to meet the need of a new generation. The current esport betting experience is too bland for such an audience”
2016 was also the year we got our 1000th user, were selected to integrate the “VillagebyCA” start-up program and were invited to join the PMU booth at Vivatechnology Paris. It didn’t stop there as we were also invited to SiGMA and as such we designed our B2B offer. All in all it was a big first year, even though it only lasted 6 months!
Esports Insider: Thoughts on crowdfunding for start-ups in the space?
BettersRift: Crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds and to promote your product to your audience, especially when you’re targeting Millenials and beyond.
However, it is often presented as a miracle solution in the video game space, with examples such as Star Citizen or Pillars of Eternity being financed well above expectations. Esports betting start-ups should instead use crowdfunding with caution as it takes a lot of time and effort with no guarantee of success.
Moreover, if it is true that the esports audience is probably well aware of crowdfunding and ready to pitch in, they might need a specific narrative to be convinced to give funds to a betting platform. Betting is still regarded as a threat to the esports industry by multiple companies within the space.
Esports Insider: How can igaming operators better appeal to gamers?
BettersRift: We believe that igaming operators need to reconsider their whole user experience to really appeal to gamers. A good example is Pinnacle and its esport hub but even this specific experience does not compare to the actual video game user experience.
“We believe that a fully deployed free-to-play model is the best way to get gamers and esports fans onboard”
Gamers are used to AAA UI and UX, being constantly rewarded and solicited, playing with friends in a graphically enhanced environment. The current esport betting experience is too bland for such an audience, offering little depth in gameplay. Operators need to completely redesign their user experience and offer to meet the need of a new generation.
That’s why we designed our platform to be easily convertible in white-label platform for betting operators willing to enter the esports fields. We designed each of our services with B2B in mind and keep developing new features to help operators appeal to gamers.
That’s also why we went for a well-known video game business model – free-to-play. We believe that a fully deployed free-to-play model is the best way to get gamers and esports fans onboard.