WantMyBet: Olly Joshi

The entrepreneur talks about going from being a regular punter, to working alongside the country's biggest bookmakers

Name: Olly Joshi
Company Name: WantMyBet
Location: Greater London
Date Launched: 20/11/15
No. of employees: 9
Website: http://www.wantmybet.com/

Tell us what your business does:

WantMyBet is an innovative social network that enables people to search and discover the latest bets from tipsters around the world. From pub punters to professional gamblers, the site allows anyone to share their top tips with people who fancy a flutter.

We’ve stripped out the complicated betting jargon and simplified the markets to make betting easier for the novice.

The site uniquely integrates three of the leading bookmaker platforms so users can place bets without being redirected to other apps or websites.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

We all love to bet, so it was a case of wanting to scratch our own itch in terms of making sports betting better.

Gambling has moved from being a very isolated, private experience to something which is massively social yet the actual functionality of bookmakers’ websites hasn’t changed much.

How did you know there was a market for it?

It was obvious there was a gap in the market. It was just a case of imagining what the perfect sports betting platform might look like and then attempting to build it.

People share their bets / predictions on social media every week. We knew that the market is huge so it was just a case of getting credible bookmakers involved.

What were you doing before starting up?

Tom was project managing for a digital agency, delivering websites and apps for brands such as Hyundai, Holland and Barrett and Penguin Random House.

Alongside numerous side projects, Olly was at Freud communications before moving to AKQA to work on Nike Football.

Will developed and launched a few of his own brands, including a mobile app called WhosGoing which was sold into ASOS.com, a creative agency called Duck Duck Goose and a ski travel company called The Ski Rascals.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes always.

Even when we were at Uni we were we’ve been dreaming up new brands / products and trying to get them off the ground.

How did you raise the money?

We initially partnered with a digital agency to get the platform designed and built.

We then raised £150k seed funding to get us launched.

We’ve just opened our next round which will help us scale the business. Investors include DJ Example who generously invested a six-figure sum

Describe your business model and how you make money:

We have hybrid affiliate deals with the bookmakers for signing up new players

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Our site requires deep integrations with the bookmakers and a close, constant conversation with their affiliate managers and their tech team.

It’s taken time and lots of badgering to set those relationships up.

We’ve also focussed on building our own amazing team of genius ninja developers who can handle the complexities of the tech that we are dealing with.

Without them it wouldn’t have been possible.

What was your first big breakthrough?

A key thing for us was getting credible bookmakers involved.

We brushed up on our pitch and took some designs to the gambling affiliate conference in Amsterdam.

We came away with offers from pretty much every single bookmaker there.

Showing them the designs and watching their eyes light up was when we knew that we were on to something which could disrupt the industry.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ask yourself what is needed to sell your dream.

What will help you to get you started?

What will help you make your idea more than just an idea? – Is it a website, a pitch deck, a prototype, proof of sales?

Once you know what’s needed then be as pro-active as you can to make that happen.

Make it look and sound as slick as you can within your initial budget.

The more people (relevant to your idea) that you show / speak to, the more you will learn about what is needed to sell your dream. You might find that something slightly different is needed. Don’t be scared to pivot.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

The biggest sports betting social network in the world.

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