Q&A: LeoVegas CPTO Mattias Wedar on opening a new tech hub in Warsaw
Following yesterday’s announcement that LeoVegas is setting up a new technology development hub in Warsaw, iGaming NEXT caught up with chief product and technology officer Mattias Wedar to better understand the rationale behind the decision.
iGaming NEXT: LeoVegas is looking to hire 60 developers over the next two years to populate the new hub – at what point do you expect it will become operational?
Mattias Wedar: We have already recruited a site manager and we have an office space at Hala Koszyki, located in a trendy and historic food hall. Recruitment for developers, mostly Java and back-end developers, is ongoing and we have our first Polish team members starting as we speak.
iGN: Why has the business chosen to build the new hub in Warsaw?
MW: The success of LeoVegas is attributed to our tech focus and product development, and in order to continue offering the best iGaming experience, we need to continuously invest in it and grow our headcount. Warsaw is a lovely city, offering high quality of life and proximity to higher education and other tech companies. Many talented developers live in the greater Warsaw area, and it’s a fantastic place to establish a tech hub and attract top talent.
iGN: How will the focus of this hub differ from those in Sweden, UK and the Netherlands?
MW: Our Warsaw hub will co-operate with the existing – and growing – hubs in Sweden, UK, and the Netherlands. Together, they will focus on developing existing tech and innovations in product, personalisation and payments. It will not differ from other tech hubs.
iGN: What is the motivation behind building out a new platform, and what elements are expected to change compared to LeoVegas’ existing Rhino platform?
MW: Technology doesn’t sleep. It is constantly developing – and the way our customers interact with brands and use devices changes too. To keep up with this, it’s natural that we keep developing our proprietary platform.
Having our own platform means that we own all data and can “control our own destiny” – we don’t need to rely on a third-party platform. Should we for instance want to quickly adjust payment options, or make changes to a game, we can do it ourselves. It offers a competitive advantage and improved possibilities for developers to innovate. We want to make sure we will continue to be ahead of the game and future proof Rhino.
iGN: Will the new development reduce LeoVegas’ reliance on third-party suppliers? If so, in which departments?
MW: The opening of our Warsaw tech hub and the development of the next-generation platform will not impact our reliance on third-party suppliers. Our launch is due to the fact that we’re growing and need increased headcount to continue offering the best iGaming experience.
Today we run all our brands on Rhino, and Rhino is fully capable of integrating with other third-party suppliers when and if we need. That is one of the advantages of Rhino; that we can integrate with multiple payment suppliers, game providers or other third-party suppliers.
iGN: Does LeoVegas plan to leverage its proprietary technology as a potential B2B offering to diversify revenue streams in the future?
MW: We are always exploring ways of increasing our revenues from the iGaming industry’s entire value chain. Our consumer brands are the main revenue of course, but we are also looking into other parts of the value chain. For example, through LeoVenutres, we have both a gaming studio, Blue Guru Games, and successful streaming and affiliate service, CasinoGrounds.
iGN: Great, thanks for catching up with us Mattias and good luck with the project!