Ontario Esports Operator Rivalry Posts Record Breaking Results in First Quarter

Written By Matthew Lomon on May 26, 2023
esports victory

It’s been a record-setting start to 2023 for Ontario online casino, esports and sports betting operator Rivalry.

The Toronto-based company recently released its Q1 2023 results, shattering previous quarterly highs across several key performance indicators.

“Our position at the intersection of esports and entertainment continues to create operating leverage in the business and drive organic growth as seen in our most impressive quarterly results to date,” said Steven Salz, co-founder and CEO of Rivalry.

As one of the more unique Ontario sports betting and casino operators, Rivalry’s business model focuses on driving organic growth through in-house technology that directly reflects the desires of their target demographic. Currently, Millennial and Gen Z consumers represent 97% of Rivalry’s active user base.

“Rivalry behaves much different than our industry peers because we don’t look at our business purely in the context of sports betting,” said Salz during a conference call on May 24. “Instead, we take inspiration from other great consumer products and category leaders, which wrap entertainment around the product and brand experience to create something unique for fans.

“We believe this is foundational to any product targeting the next generation of consumers.”

First quarter highlights demonstrate marked growth

Following its non-traditional approach, Rivalry made significant strides in five foundational areas:

Betting handle: 

For the three-month period ended March 31, 2023, handle was $120.2 million, representing an all-time high for Rivalry. This figure is up year-over-year by $80 million (199%) from $40.2 million in Q1 2022, and sequentially by $36.2 million (43%) from the previous quarterly record set in Q4 2022 ($83.9 million).

Revenue: 

Revenue for Q1 2023 was $12 million, the company’s highest-ever in any quarter. This number increased by $7.2 million (151%) from $4.8 million in Q1 2022, and $2.5 million (27%) over Q4 2022’s total of $9.4 million.

Gross Profit:

Reaching $5.4 million in Q1 2023, gross profit marked the largest increase, percentage wise, in year-over-year growth for Rivalry. This figure is up $4.8 million (698%) from $0.7 million in Q1 2022, and $0.4 million (9%) from Q4 2022 gross profit of $5 million.

Conversely, net loss decreased by 50%, down to $3.3 million in Q1 2023 from $6.6 million in Q1 2022. As a result, this became the fifth consecutive sequential decrease in net loss, reinforcing Rivalry’s commitment to operational efficiency.

Customer Engagement:

User registrations hit $1.5 million at the end of Q1, indicating a 114% increase year-over-year. The overwhelming majority of users are between the ages of 18-40, otherwise known as the Millennial and Gen Z cluster.

Brand Influence:

The company’s marketing MO, which relies heavily on creating partnerships with creators within the esports sphere, also saw an uptick in Q1 2023. Altogether, Rivalry’s creator partners and owned media properties reached a total of 85 million followers.

Such a number enhances the company’s organic acquisition strategy and ability to activate customers through authentic touchpoints.

Amidst Q1 success, Rivalry announces mobile app coming soon to Ontario

Presently, Rivalry’s hybrid esports betting/entertainment experience-based product is only available through the company’s website. However, in the May 24 conference call, Salz noted that a mobile app will be available to Ontarian’s “very soon.”

Although no exact timeline was provided, Salz continued by saying interested groups can search for the app on the app store and that it’s “conceivable” to find right now.

In addition to the app, Rivalry has “a number of exciting initiatives planned,” according to Salz, including:

  • Expanding esports offerings to deepen the core product, attract new customers, and establish the most comprehensive esports betting product globally.
  • Evolving iGaming products through the introduction of third-party games.
  • Developing new exclusive casino games in-house to further cater to core users.
  • Continuing to partner with top esports creators and influencers to extend brand reach and engagement to new regions and audiences.
  • Geographic expansion of the Rivalry product, as well as possible expansion into new markets.

Rivalry plans to use its record-breaking start to 2023 as a motivator to continually explore new avenues for success.

“Building innovative products, which add to an overall unique and interactive betting experience on Rivalry, will remain a strategic focus in 2023,” said Salz.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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