imon Waterbury, Head of Sales at Digitain, spoke exclusively with Yogonet about how the "new normal" brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 changed —and continues affecting— the company and, broadly speaking, the whole gaming and sports betting industries.
"We are in lockdown again in the UK," he began. "In business terms, it has been challenging, but we found strength through adversity. Covid did allow us to focus on product enhancements and features that we are going to release lately, but there is a lot more to come."
Digitain as a company has shown a lot of ambition to meet the requests and demands of its partners.
"I lead the sales team and I am delighted to say that —believe it or not—, we have had a record year," Waterbury explained. "We have signed over 70 deals, and over 50 of those partners have been post-Covid."
"In response to our partners' demands, we have expanded our portfolio of products very quickly," he continued. "Virtuals were around before Covid but they were focused on more because of the ongoing pandemic."
Waterbury also said that Digitain is very proud that they are at the final stages of moving their team from homeworking into the company’s new office headquarters in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city, a very prominent building.
"This is not just a headquarters for Digitain; it is also a start-up incubator program for the region’s most ambitious tech startups," the head of sales explained. "It is more than a new headquarters, it is a start-up hub."
When analyzing the most prominent changes brought about by Covid-19, Waterbury explained that the industry realized that t digital was not the enemy.
"I’ve shared panels with this discussion and the conclusion was that there should be a combination between physical and digital," he explained. "There has been an increased focus on omnichannel presence. That is not always possible, for example in Italy, you cannot have a single wallet across retail and online, but I think there has been an increase in ensuring that you can serve a customer both retail and online."
Speaking about customers’ demands, Waterbury explained that with no live sports, given that Digitain’s core is its sportsbook, his team had to reassess the company’s product portfolio, and, for example, they built the company’s own in-house esports product.
"In terms of what operators are demanding, it has been fluid: they were demanding Ukrainian table tennis at one point with no live sports. I think some of those trends are here to stay and I think esports will grow even more."
When asked about Digitain’s achievements in 2020, Waterbury delved into the company’s deal with the Russian Federation licensed-Pin-up.
"It is a pretty new deal, which we work very hard on. The Russian regulation is quite challenging. There have been some changes but we have learned a lot supporting our partners through the process. We were delighted to launch the partner into another regulated market."
Finally, the Head of Sales spoke about Digitain plans for what is left of 2020 and next year.
"We are really excited to launch our own live dealer product towards the end of this year, which has been developed in our state-of-the-art studio," he said. "The other exciting area that I am directly involved in is opening up the regional office structure. Regional offices are happening at the end of 2020, Africa and Asia first and with LatAm and Europe probably towards the middle of next year."
"In 2020, we found strength through adversity and we have shown flexibility," Waterbury concluded. "It has been a great year for Digitain and there is much more to come."