Toronto-based online gambling operator Rivalry took pause to reflect on a historic 2023 that saw the outfit reach record heights across a variety of key metrics. But, in true company fashion, that pause remained brief, and it was right back to focusing on 2024.
On Feb. 5, the Gen Z-centred iGaming site released a letter informing shareholders of all it’s accomplished in the past year. The note, which surely didn’t lack assurance, also included insights into Rivalry’s strategic priorities for 2024 and beyond.
Originally known as a niche esports wagering operator, Rivalry has made significant strides since its formation in 2016. In particular, the company touted the rapid ascent of its Ontario online casino and Ontario sports betting offerings. Both segments played a significant role in diversifying Rivalry’s portfolio, says Co-founder and CEO Steven Salz.
“We exited 2023 as a substantially diversified company, both geographically and across our product suite, with the strongest customer KPIs in our history,” Salz said in the letter.
“Our esports expertise no longer solely defines us, and our rapid ascent in other segments such as traditional sports, casino, and fantasy outlines the increasingly widening opportunity set we’re realizing as a result of our unrivaled demographic understanding.”
In-house strategies and developments drive record-setting 2023
Few companies, if any, understand the evolving needs of Gen Z and Millennial consumers to the degree of Rivalry. Hence, its hyper-focus on catering specifically to its target audience through in-house strategies and developments. This unparalleled ability to serve said demographics in such a way helped propel the company to new heights in 2023.
Along with sustained growth momentum, Rivalry reported a year-to-date betting handle increase of 127% to $338.1 million (CAD), revenue increase of 70% to $29.2 million, and gross profit rising 175% to $13.2 million through Q3 2023 compared to the first nine months of 2022. This was all done while decreasing marketing spend by 8%.
Other highlights from the year that was included:
- Proving its Gen Z demographic thesis by leading from the front with gaming and Internet culture while diversifying other segments. This includes online casino, which grew to nearly 50% of the site’s total wagers, followed by esports, and then traditional sports betting. Further, the online casino handle figure grew 141% year-over-year in Q3 2023 without cannibalizing player wallet share.
- Achieving all-time high record-handle per customer, average revenue per user, and record low cost of customer acquisition.
- Releasing an industry-first same-game parlay product for esports.
- Debuting an iOS mobile app in Ontario, which contributed to a 400%+ year-over-year increase in betting handle in the province in Q3 2023.
- Continuing to expand its creator network with over 100 brand partners and 90+ million aggregate followers. This creates reliable consumer touchpoints and enables further growth without relying on excessive bonus and promotional offers.
The operator also developed and launched its second original game Cash & Dash. The proprietary platform became the site’s fifth-most popular game and among the top ten highest-grossing titles by revenue.
Ambitions for 2024 and beyond are high, but attainable per Salz
Achieving record results doesn’t happen without taking calculated risks. And, after pushing most of the right buttons in 2023, there’s no reason Rivalry will do anything different in ’24.
The global operator released its list of “initiatives” and “catalysts” for the year, which it anticipates will drive results moving forward. Items on its to-do list include releasing more original games, entering new regulated markets, additional investment in its sports betting product, and new proprietary releases and enhancements to its current product portfolio across casino, sportsbook, and more.
Heading into the new year on the heels of a record-shattering 2023 may be intimidating for some, but not for Rivalry’s showrunner.
“Our multi-year track record of triple-digit growth amidst decreasing year-over-year marketing spend is a testament to the execution of our team, business model, and brand leadership among Gen Z,” Salz said. “We have unparalleled demographic expertise, a product innovation engine delivering results, unforgettable marketing, and an immensely talented team.“Our vision for online betting is challenging conventional norms in a long-standing industry. We are disruptors, stepping on nicely manicured lawns by seeing the future of online gambling and creating it. The next generation is just getting started on their customer journey, and we are poised to own it.”