Slot development studio RAW iGaming has completed its first ever acquisition with the purchase of Leander Games.

Leander is another Malta-based slot development studio which also offers its own aggregation and distribution platform.

RAW said the acquisition will help power the rapid expansion of games featuring its proprietary SuperSlice engine across regulated markets, while introducing the new business area of aggregation to the firm.

RAW’s SuperSlice games will now be made available to Leander’s integrated customer base in 13 regulated markets across Europe and South America.

“This is an amazing opportunity to bring together our SuperSlice innovation with one of the best distribution platforms in the industry along with access to the studio that is known for great titles like Ave Caesar and Alibaba and the Forty Thieves,” said RAW iGaming CEO Tom Wood.

“After meeting with Leander management, we felt the immediate cultural connection, identified their deep skillset in platform and distribution, as well as the clear synergies we both bring in game development making RAW a new force to reckon with in content and game distribution.”

Leander Games CEO Steven Matsell said: “We look forward to being a part of RAW and supporting the fight against industry monotony.”

Steven Matsell, CEO of Leander Games, added: “We are very excited to become a part of the RAW family and start the next chapter in Leander by marrying RAW’s innovative vision with our market-leading platform as well as the integration of the game teams to deliver even more innovative, ground-breaking content.

“This strengthens our dedication to our customers and partners, offering new games and platform innovations which are sure to shake up the market. We look forward to being a part of RAW and supporting the fight against industry monotony. We welcome new operators and studios that are ready to join as well.”

RAW said that the acquisition marks the firm’s arrival as a major player and disruptor in the online gambling sector, and that it is now looking for additional M&A opportunities as it seeks to further cement its position in the market.

RAW iGaming was founded in March 2021 by industry veteran Tom Wood, who previously served as vice president, chief product officer and chief creative officer for Scientific Games and group chief product officer at BetKing Nigeria, among other roles.

The firm’s executive team was subsequently bolstered by former Videoslots CTO Ricardo Ruiz, and GTECH and Paf veteran Henrik Fagerlund, who joined RAW as CTO and COO, respectively, in January.

Online slot development studio RAW iGaming has recruited Ricardo Ruiz as its new chief technology officer (CTO) and Henrik Fagerlund as chief operating officer (COO).

Founded by former vice president and chief creative officer of SG Digital Tom Wood in March of last year, RAW now plans to build out its management team to inspire growth across the business.

Ruiz said: “I am super passionate about technology, gaming and product innovation and with RAW I get all my boxes checked.

“It’s such a great time to jump on board, with so much achieved already but still with everything in front of us. I look forward to building new technology, culture and a new team that’s going to disrupt the industry in the most spectacular way.”

Ruiz joins the business from Videoslots, where he also acted as CTO and was responsible for driving technical growth and innovation for the business while launching its platform in several regulated markets around the world.

Ruiz also previously held a CTO role with African operator M-Bet Tanzania.

RAW iGaming’s new COO Fagerlund arrives from Evolution, where he most recently held the role of director of product innovation, having previously served as MD of Malta for NetEnt.

According to RAW, Fagerlund will focus on driving company operations including strategy, product development and sales in his new role, while ensuring the provider operates reliably and to the highest possible standards.

RAW said Fagerlund’s experience is unrivalled, having also held senior positions at gaming supplier GTECH and Nordic operator Paf.

Fagerlund commented: “I truly love the iGaming industry for being so dynamic and ever changing but the one thing I feel is missing is true innovation.

“When I met Tom and he showed me the SuperSlice® concept and the other stuff he is cooking up, I felt like real innovation was here and something I wanted to be a part of.

“Tom explained this is what RAW is about, shaking things up, innovating, and truly avoiding the sea of sameness.

“That hit the target for me and it’s an absolute honour to join RAW. Here I can bring all my experience, passion and energy to the table and help make a difference.”

RAW CEO Wood said that adding the two new hires to the team will help to establish RAW’s focus on quality.

“Ricardo will ensure the technical security and viability of our platforms while Henrik will bring to bear his incredible wealth of knowledge in iGaming and will ensure our teams deliver to the quality levels and innovation which RAW will be known for.

“I feel so honoured they have chosen RAW, and both together will ensure stability during RAW’s quick expansion,” he concluded.