Better Collective’s DKK 1.08bn (€145m) capital raise completed overnight as the affiliate gears up for future M&A.

The company has completed the accelerated book-building process announced yesterday (29 Feb) evening.

The offering saw Better Collective issue 5,712,284 shares, which equate to around 10% of the company’s total share capital. The subscription price was DKK 189.4.

Of the total offering, BLS Capital Fondsmæglerselskab bought 50% of the available new shares as an anchor investor.

As announced last night, the affiliate said it intends to use the new capital to pay down its existing debt facilities to prepare for future M&A opportunities.

The business highlighted the “highly fragmented” nature of the sports media landscape, as proof of future attractive acquisition opportunities.

Better Collective by far completed the most deals of any gambling affiliate in 2023.

The company was responsible for seven of the 10 transactions during the year, as well as the top three deals by value.

The business’ last deal, the €176m purchase of Playmaker Capital, closed this month.

The long tail of the sports media industry

Since 2017, the business has acquired 34 companies, and developed a rollout model to integrate the brands into the wider business.

By traffic, Better Collective now receives the third most visits of any sports media brand after ESPN and Cricbuzz.

In the company’s Q4 earnings presentation, the business showed a slide with the sports media industry arranged by web traffic.

“The tail is very long, and we show this to give an impression on how big of a potential there still remains in this fragmented industry, where we believe we are the best owners of sports brands and the best sports partners to legacy media,” said CEO Jesper Søgaard.

However, Søgaard added during the same presentation that Better Collective will devote some time to integration before resuming the M&A push.

“After the seven acquisitions we’ve made during 2023, 2024 calls for some months with consolidation and integration,” he said.

The chief executive said this would involve tech platform migration and revenue model optimisation, resulting in audience growth and improved monetisation.

“These investments will prepare us for the future,” he added.

Better Collective shares have sunk after the business reported a 1% year-on-year decrease in revenue to €85.2m for Q4 2023.

The affiliate said recurring revenue of €47m represented growth of 15%, but organic revenue declined by 7% during the fourth quarter.

Europe and the Rest of World provided €58m of Q4 revenue, up 14%, as revenue from North America fell by 23% to €27m.

Q4 EBITDA before special items came in at €29.5m, down 16% year-on-year, corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 35%.

The EBITDA drop was mainly driven by the ongoing transition to a rev-share model in the US, as well as a tough comparative period due to the launch of online sports betting in Ohio.

The prior corresponding quarter was also boosted by the World Cup 2022. As a result, new depositing customers (NDCs) fell by 17% to 483,000 in Q4 2023.

The cost of special items during Q4 amounted to €1.9m. This was primarily related to M&A expenses of €10.2m, dual-listing costs of €1.1m and a €500k restructuring cost.

Those costs were softened by €9.9m of income resulting from Better Collective’s acquisition of FUTBIN, where an earn-out has been reversed due to certain performance-related criteria not being met.

Better Collective also wrapped up its second largest acquisition to date post-close of Q4, with the €176m purchase of American sports media giant Playmaker Capital.

Full-year 2023

The Q4 results saw full-year 2023 revenue reach €327m, up 21% annually.

EBITDA before special items hit €111m, representing an increase of 31% on an EBITDA margin of 34%.

The fourth quarter performance saw Better Collective exceed its full-year revenue target of between €315m and €325m, as EBITDA also came in at the high end of the range.

The affiliate has set separate financial targets for full-year 2024, including revenue of €420m at the top end of guidance and EBITDA of up to €135m.

The new targets factor in an 11-month impact from the Playmaker Capital acquisition, which officially closed on 6 February 2024.

Post-close trading

2024 trading did not get off to the strongest of starts. January revenue collapsed by 27% year-on-year to €27m, again following tough comparisons from the Ohio launch last year.

For context, last January was the strongest trading month ever for Better Collective.

Better Collective co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard said: “In 2023, a great team effort across the group secured a prosperous year marked by profitable growth, all while continuing our strategic investments to lay the foundation for the future.

“It brings me great satisfaction to witness the ongoing development of engaging sports content and the expansion of our audiences across our sports media brands, all while consistently providing value to our partners.

“2023 stands out as a year where we made significant progress towards our vision of becoming the leading digital sports media group,” he added.

Microsoft investor BLS Invest has acquired a 6.7% stake in Better Collective, according to a regulatory update.

According to the filing, BLS purchased 3,651,643 voting right shares in the affiliate group. This works out at 6.7% of the company’s total share capital.

The purchase makes the Danish investment fund the third largest shareholder in Better Collective.

The top two shareholders are Better Collective co-founders Jesper Søgaard and Christian Kirk Rasmussen, respectively the business’ current CEO and COO.

This means BLS is now the largest shareholder with no management ties to the business.

Other entities with substantial stakes in the company include the Augustinus Foundation with a 4.56% stake, and the Second Swedish National Pension Fund, holding 3.92% of the total share capital.

BLS is a Capital Association regulated by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority. Its portfolio includes several blue-chip US corporations including Microsoft, Starbucks and the Coca-Cola Company.

Better Collective share price recovers after rocky Q3

Better Collective has seen continued growth in recent months, reporting a 26% revenue rise to €75m in Q3 2023.

The upward trend was reflected in the company’s EBITDA, which amounted to €20m for the period, up 35% from the previous year.

However, investors were not impressed with the report, leading to a near 13% drop in the share price in the aftermath.

The stock has recovered since then, and is now up 21.65% over the past six months.

Better Collective is also in process of finalising the second largest acquisition in the company’s history, in the shape of the €176m Playmaker Capital purchase.

Playmaker’s shareholders approved the deal this month. As a result, Better Collective is expected to become the Latam market leader, as well as supplement its position in the US.

Affiliate group Better Collective reported a 26% year-on-year revenue rise to €75m in Q3 2023, with 16% of it being organic.

Recurring revenue hit €46m, signifying a 49% growth and now accounting for 61% of total group revenue.

Group EBITDA before special items stood at €20m, marking year-on-year growth of 35%.

The EBITDA margin before special items was 26%.

“In Q3 we saw continued strong performance across the group working towards sustainable future growth for Better Collective,” said co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard.

“I am especially pleased to see that the transition into recurring revenue with our North American partners is moving faster than expected, which will provide strong value in the long run,” he added.

However, investors were not fully convinced of Better Collective’s performance, leading to a nearly 13% drop in the stock during the early hours of trading.

NDCs growth

New depositing customers (NDC) increased by 27% year-on-year to 445,000.

Of these NDCs, 87% subscribed to revenue share contracts.

Better Collective said the shift to revenue share contracts in North America has progressed faster than anticipated.

In the US, Better Collective saw approximately 65,000 NDCs during Q3, up 73% on Q3 2022.

Among these, 64% opted for revenue share agreements, totalling 42,000 NDCs, translating to a 159% growth.

Søgaard emphasised the group’s concerted effort toward transitioning partners to revenue share agreements in North America since the repeal of PASPA in 2018, aligning with the model used across the rest of the group’s operations worldwide.

“We favour revenue share as this model puts us in the same boat as our partnering sportsbooks, allowing us to develop more strategic and long-term partnerships. In short, we succeed when they succeed.”

Acquisition spree

Throughout the quarter, Better Collective continued its expansion strategy by acquiring national sports media across four markets. 

The acquisition spree kicked off at the beginning of Q3 with the purchase of Playmaker HQ, a content and social media firm. 

This move significantly bolstered Better Collective’s capabilities in social media and sports content production. 

The group also purchased four prominent sports media brands from the Everysport Group in Sweden. 

These brands – SvenskaFans.com, Hockeysverige.se, FotballDirect, and Innebandy Magazinet – were acquired for a total of €3.7m.

Additionally, Better Collective expanded its footprint in South America by acquiring Torcedores.com, a Brazilian sports media platform. 

This move not only brought the first Brazilian sports media brand into the Better Collective fold but also included the acquisition of an office in Sao Paulo.

In Denmark, Better Collective acquired Tipsbladet.dk for €6.5m. 

Outlook

Better Collective maintained its full-year financial targets. 

The company anticipates revenue between €315m and €325m for the year, with an EBITDA before special items in the range of €105m to €115m.

For October, the group reported a 6% revenue decline to €24.3m. The decrease was attributed to an estimated impact of €8m due to a lower-than-expected sports win margin.

However, in November, Better Collective marked a significant milestone with its second-largest acquisition to date, Playmaker Capital, a digital sports media group. 

Better Collective described the €176m acquisition as “transformational,” propelling the company into a leading position in North America and further solidifying its presence in South America. 

The company also revealed that Nasdaq Copenhagen has conditionally approved Better Collective’s admission to its regulated market.

The first day of trading is expected to be tomorrow (17 November), and the ticker symbol will be BETCO DKK.

More to follow.

Better Collective has agreed to acquire Toronto-based sports media group Playmaker Capital for a total price consideration of €176m.

This marks Better Collective’s second largest acquisition to date after the affiliate business acquired Action Network for $240m in 2021. 

Playmaker Capital operates a strong portfolio of sports media brands across the Americas.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of Q1 2024. 

Once completed, Better Collective anticipates it will become Latam market leader, while also strengthening its position the US.

Playmaker’s leadership team have agreed to stay on to help drive the business forward.

Shares in Better Collective were trading more than 7% higher on the news.

“Transformational” acquisition

Better Collective co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard (pictured) described the acquisition as “transformational” for Better Collective.

“Upon closing of the acquisition, we will significantly grow our audience and reach a larger segment of generalist sports fans,” Søgaard said.

“For years, Playmaker Capital has built incredibly strong sports media brands and excited sports fans across the Americas with high-quality sports content, cultivating a loyal and dedicated following. 

“The skilled team behind Playmaker Capital brings a unique set of media competencies that will boost our organisation. Saying that I am excited to welcome the new team to the Better Collective group would be an understatement,” he added. 

“Saying that I am excited to welcome the new team to the Better Collective group would be an understatement.”
Better Collective co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard

Playmaker Capital at a glance 

Headquartered in Toronto, Playmaker Capital’s shares are listed on both the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada and the OTCQX in the US. 

Playmaker Capital owns and operates prominent sports media brands such as Futbol Sites, Yardbarker and The Nation Network. 

The company also operates Wedge, a paid media division with a core focus on the US market, which will be integrated into Better Collective’s paid media division. 

Playmaker’s combined portfolio of digital sports media brands attracts a monthly average of more than 200 million visits.

It also has a social media following of more than 180 million across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and X (formerly Twitter).

As at Q3 2023, Playmaker Capital has trailing 12-month revenue of €55m and EBITDA of €15m. 

That implies an EV/EBITDA multiple of 11.7x, which Better Collective expects to bring down to below 5x by 2026e. 

Prior to the transaction, Better Collective had formed several media partnerships with some of Playmaker Capital’s premier sports media brands. 

Consequently, Better Collective said it has already established an extensive understanding of and insight into the quality of Playmaker’s brands. 

“The cultures of our companies are very similar, and I see the integration and synergies to be incredibly accretive to shareholders.”
Playmaker Capital co-founder and CEO Jordan Gnat

Playmaker Capital co-founder and CEO Jordan Gnat commented: “Over the past 12 months I have been talking a lot about a transformational deal for Playmaker and its shareholders that will take this company to the next level. 

“Today’s announcement does exactly that, and I could not be more excited for the Playmaker family to join the Better Collective family. Their success is undeniable and their vision to become the leading digital sports media group aligns with us exactly. 

“The cultures of our companies are very similar, and I see the integration and synergies to be incredibly accretive to shareholders.”

Expected synergies

Better Collective and Playmaker Capital said they both stand to benefit from the increased scale of the combined business as well as higher levels of product, technology, and marketing investments. 

Better Collective also has the opportunity to extend its reach among generalist sports fans in the Americas and strengthen its position in South America.

The acquisition also presents the chance to enhance Better Collective’s portfolio through the implementation of performance-based marketing approaches across the acquired sports media. 

Furthermore, the companies expect significant operational synergies, leading to more efficient processes and improved monetisation prospects for both entities.

Transaction details

As part of this transaction, shareholders of Playmaker Capital will receive a total consideration of C$0.70 per share. This consideration is a combination of cash and shares from Better Collective.

Playmaker Capital’s shareholders will have the option to choose between receiving C$0.70 in cash or 0.0206 shares of Better Collective for each Playmaker Capital common share. 

However, this choice is subject to proration and is limited to 65% shares in Better Collective and 35% in cash.

Playmaker Capital shareholders who do not elect cash or shares of Better Collective will receive a default consideration of C$0.245 in cash (35%) and 0.0134 shares of Better Collective (65%) per Playmaker Capital common share. 

Share issuance and dilution

The total aggregate share consideration will involve up to 3,100,880 shares of Better Collective. 

This will be settled partially by transferring 1,387,580 treasury shares and up to 1,713,300 newly issued shares. 

The number of newly issued shares will be determined based on the volume-weighted average price of Better Collective shares over the ten-day trading period just before the signing of the definitive agreement. 

This average price amounts to SEK270.48 per share, which is equivalent to C$33.94 per share.

With the issuance of new Better Collective shares, the total outstanding number of Better Collective shares will be up to 56,937,147. This issuance will result in a dilution of existing Better Collective shareholders by 3.1%.

The cash portion of the consideration will be funded using existing cash from the balance sheet and established bank credit facilities.

The two largest shareholders of Playmaker Capital – Relay Ventures and JPG Investments, a holding company owned by Playmaker Capital CEO Jordan Gnat –  together hold 24% of all outstanding Playmaker Capital common shares. 

JPG Investments will convert a portion of its Playmaker Capital common shares into Better Collective shares, with an expected consideration split of roughly 75% in Better Collective shares and 25% in cash.

Both shareholders have signed lock-up agreements that prevent them from selling their Better Collective shares for a specified period.

Shareholder approval 

The closing of the transaction is subject to approval from Playmaker Capital shareholders, court approval, regulatory clearances, and other customary closing conditions for transactions of this nature.

However, the directors, officers, and certain shareholders of Playmaker Capital, collectively representing 49.8% of Playmaker Capital’s outstanding common shares, have already agreed to support and vote in favour of the transaction.

Better Collective had said it was on the lookout for acquisition targets after celebrating record Q2 results.

Upon completion of the transaction, Better Collective plans to reassess its long-term financial targets for the period spanning 2023 to 2027.

Affiliate group Better Collective has acquired Tipsbladet.dk, one of Denmark’s leading soccer media outlets.

The acquisition is valued at €6.5m, to be paid in three installments and financed with cash.

Better Collective expects that the post-synergy 2024 EBITDA multiple will be below 5x. The financial targets for 2023 remain unaffected by the acquisition.

As of 2 October, Tipsbladet.dk will officially become part of Better Collective, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Better Collective co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard commented: “The acquisition fits perfectly with our vision to become the leading digital sports media group and our strategy to acquire strong media brands with a loyal audience.

“I look very much forward to welcoming the dedicated editorial team at Tipsbladet to the Better Collective group and I am convinced that together we can further elevate the content that for years has excited so many Danish sports fans.”

A transformation from print to digital

Founded in 1948, Tipsbladet is one of the oldest soccer magazines in the Nordics.

Over time, the media outlet has transitioned from a printed magazine to a digital platform and evolved into a leading source for soccer-related content, including news, articles, match previews, betting tips, videos, and analysis.

With a monthly audience of approximately 6.8 million visits and a substantial social media following, its digital edition Tipsbladet.dk has become a go-to destination for soccer enthusiasts.

Henrik Stegger Nielsen, former owner of Tipsbladet, stated: “Since 2007, when I acquired Tipsbladet, I have worked hard to make it a healthy and sustainable business.

“I have succeeded, and I could hardly imagine a better buyer for Tipsbladet than Better Collective. I know that they will both take good care of Tipsbladet and, with their ambitions and competencies, develop it even further.”

Nielsen joins Better Collective together with all current employees at Tipsbladet.

Tipsbladet editor in chief Allan Olsen added: “For Tipsbladet and its employees, this is a fantastic event. Even though we have experienced lots of growth and great numbers on the bottom line in an otherwise pressured media world, there is no doubt that Better Collective can help push Tipsbladet’s growth even further.

“We will continue to deliver strong football stories, but with Better Collective behind us, we can really make the content live on many more platforms and reach a wider audience.”

Expected synergies

Better Collective said the acquisition strengthens its position in Denmark, making it a more attractive partner for advertisers in the Danish market, while the experienced editorial team at Tipsbladet provides a solid foundation for expanding media products on various platforms.

Better Collective intends to use its tech and search engine optimisation (SEO) expertise to grow the audience, and said it is committed to investing in the development and growth of Tipsbladet.dk.

M&A firepower

During the presentation of its Q2 results last month, the affiliate group hinted at the possibility of more M&A deals.

In the company’s earnings call, CFO Flemming Pedersen said: “Our total financial capacity exceeds €150m now, hence we have plenty of firepower for expanding our activities.”

Revenue for Q2 was €78.1m, marking a year-on-year increase of 39.4%.

Earlier in September, Better Collective already acquired Torcedores.com, a leading Brazilian online sports media platform.

Digital sports media group Better Collective has strengthened its position in Sweden through the strategic acquisition of four flagship sports media brands from Everysport Group.

The acquired brands include SvenskaFans.com, HockeySverige.se, Fotbolldirekt.se and Innebandymagazinet.se with a combined reach of 9 million monthly visits from dedicated Swedish sports enthusiasts.

Jesper Søgaard, CEO of Better Collective commented: “An important pillar in Better Collective’s strategy is to acquire leading national sports media with strong brands and a loyal and returning following. That’s why these sports media brands fit perfectly into our portfolio.

“We expect the media to deliver additional growth for our business in Sweden, adding to our leading market position within affiliation and expansion towards general advertisement. We are very excited to bring onboard one of the strongest sports news teams in Sweden and make them part of Better Collective.

“With our vision to become the leading digital sports media group, we want to be the go-to partner for any brand wanting to gain exposure and engagement among sport fans. This acquisition takes us one step further on that journey.”

SvenskaFans is Sweden’s biggest online sports fan community. SvenskaFans was founded in 2000 and covers everything from top-tier football and ice hockey to local leagues across Sweden. Over the past 23 years the sports media brand has grown a large loyal following through user generated content such as game reports, interviews, chronicles and podcasts, with currently over 750 active contributors, and a popular YouTube channel, FanTV. The website has around 5 million monthly visits and solely monetizes through advertising (CPM).

HockeySverige.se is the largest ice hockey news website in Sweden featuring news and reports from the world of hockey including the National Hockey League (NHL), Champions Hockey League (CHL), Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and HockeyAllsvenskan. Boosted by a popular YouTube channel and strong social media presence, HockeySverigie.se has around 2.2 million monthly visits, monetized through advertising (CPM) and subscriptions.

Fotbolldirekt.se is a leading Swedish football media outlet covering news and reports from national as well as international football. The website has around 1.1 million monthly visits and monetizes through advertising and subscriptions.

InnebandyMagazinet is the biggest floorball news site covering the Swedish leagues and national teams. The sports media has around 500,000 monthly visits and monetizes through subscription and advertising (CPM).

Hannes Andersson, CEO of Everysport Group, said: “We are proud to have developed the websites into some of Sweden’s largest news media in their respective sports. In addition, we have successfully commercialised the brands and in all cases also turned a negative financial development into good profitability.

“Today’s deal confirms Everysport’s digital innovation and execution capabilities and is a logical next step for both the brands and the Group. We are convinced that Better Collective is a strong and long-term owner who will continue to develop the brands in a meritorious way. We wish both them and the employees all the best.”

Highlighted synergies

Acquiring leading local sports media with a strong brand is an important pillar in Better Collective’s vision and enables the group to increase its presence and leverage its position as a key partner for advertisers in Sweden. The editorial team behind the brands create a strong foundation to grow media products on all relevant platforms.

Better Collective will utilise its diversified toolbox of revenue streams, as these sports media assets have only been monetised through traditional advertising (CPM) and subscription.

Better Collective will leverage its industry leading tech and search engine optimisation (SEO) expertise in order to grow traffic.

Transaction details

The total purchase price will be €3.7m paid in three instalments and will be financed with cash. Better Collective estimates that the post synergy 2024 EBITDA multiple will be below 3x. The 2023 financial targets remain unchanged following the acquisition.

Better Collective has acquired Skycon Limited, a global display advertising company in a deal worth up to £45m.

The purchase is expected to enhance Better Collective’s Paid Media division and the affiliate has boosted its 2023 financial targets as a result.

Based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, Skycon Limited was founded in 2017 and specialises in display advertising and paid advertising on sports media channels.

Better Collective said the acquired business would complement its existing search engine-based approach to marketing, providing synergies for both businesses.

Skycon will now be integrated into Better Collective’s existing Paid Media operations, with the company taking over Skycon’s recurring rev share database.

It has been consolidated into the Better Collective business from 14 April 2023.

The move is expected to fuel further growth at Skycon, which has solely worked with one sportsbook to date.

Better Collective is planning to utilise its existing partner network of sportsbooks and its forthcoming AdTech platform to expand Skycon services, as well as branching out the business into new geographies such as the US.

Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard: “Skycon is a great business, which is built on Better Collective’s favoured rev share model.”

Jesper Søgaard, co-founder and CEO of Better Collective, said: “Acquiring Skycon will be highly synergistic to this journey.

“Skycon is a great business, which is built on Better Collective’s favoured rev share model. It is a perfect fit as we can leverage our leading skill set within media buying to grow Skycon’s revenues,” he added.

The acquisition will see Better Collective pay up to £45m on a cash and debt-free basis, comprising a £25m upfront cash payment and up to £20m in performance-related earn-outs.

The deal will be funded by cash, with the earn-out estimated to be at least 50% financed by Better Collective’s existing rev share database.

Following the acquisition, Better Collective has upgraded its financial targets for this year, guiding to revenue of between €305m and €315m compared to previous guidance between €290m and €300m.

EBITDA before special items has also been upgraded by €5m, while net debt remains unchanged.

Better Collective has now acquired 29 companies since going public back in 2018.

In March, before the Skycon deal was announced, the Stockholm-listed affiliate promised to alter its M&A strategy in order to evolve from a sports betting affiliate into a “leading digital sports media group”.

Better Collective has inked a content and commercial media partnership with PUNCH Nigeria, a significant player in Nigeria’s media ecosystem.

The partnership marks Better Collective’s first foray into the African continent.

It also serves as another step towards realising the company’s vision of transforming from a sports betting affiliate into a “leading digital sports media group.”

PUNCH is one of Nigeria’s leading newspaper groups, consisting of seven digital publishing platforms, four print newspapers, video and podcasts verticals, and publishing subsidiaries.

With more than 11 million social media followers, PUNCH is Nigeria’s most influential medium on social media and a major media industry player.

The partnership will see Better Collective run a sports betting section on PUNCH’s digital platform, Punchng.com, with English language content.

Better Collective co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard: “Not only will we be partnering with Nigeria’s market leader, but this partnership also allows us to establish a presence on the African continent.”

Better Collective co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard commented: “We are very proud to partner with such a well-established news media like PUNCH.

“Not only will we be partnering with Nigeria’s market leader, but this partnership also allows us to establish a presence on the African continent.”

Adeyeye Joseph, managing director and editor-in-chief of PUNCH, added: “We hope that this partnership will help PUNCH to serve Nigeria’s growing sports betting community with high quality content while also helping our company to further its audience and revenue goals.”

While its primary audience is Nigerian, PUNCH’s reach extends beyond Nigeria to other parts of Africa and includes significant audiences in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Africa is seen as a growth market for the iGaming industry. Nigeria is the biggest country on the continent by population and home to more than 200 million people.

Better Collective has set new financial targets based on its intention to transform into a leading digital sports media group.

In 2023, Better Collective expects to generate revenue between €290m and €300m, with an EBITDA of €90m to €100m.

The company aims to maintain a net debt to EBITDA ratio of below 2, excluding any impact from potential mergers and acquisitions.

For the period 2023 to 2027, Better Collective is targeting a revenue CAGR of +20% and an EBITDA margin before special items of 30% to 40%, as well as a net debt to EBITDA ratio of below 3.

These projections include potential mergers and acquisitions, which will be financed by own cash flow and debt, the company said.

Better Collective reported that 2022 was a very strong year for the company.

The full-year revenue for 2022 was €269.3m, representing a 52% year-on-year increase, with 34% organic growth.

During 2022, the group sent a record 1.7 million new depositing customers (NDCs) to its partners, with 76% on revenue share contracts, which it said would lead to strong recurring revenue and less seasonality impacts.

Refined vision

Based on these results, the business doubled down on its ambition to switch from a sports betting affiliate into a “leading digital sports media group”.

To become more relevant and engaging for sports fans seeking entertainment and information, Better Collective plans to enhance its content with more newsworthy and investigative elements moving forward.

The company also envisions transforming from a single business entity to a group of businesses.

Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard: “There are a lot of synergies to harvest in combining strong authoritative sports media with large viewerships and Better Collective’s core strengths of optimisation, conversion, and diverse business models.”

The diversification has already proven its worth over the past five years, the company said.

Better Collective has decreased its reliance on search engine traffic from 60% to less than 35% and diversified its revenue stream, with 40% now coming from the US.

New M&A targets

Furthermore, since its IPO in 2018, Better Collective has acquired 28 companies, and although M&A will continue to play an important role, the company’s strategy will evolve.

Better Collective’s previous acquisition strategy was focused on obtaining “traditional” performance marketing companies with a user database and revenue share agreements to achieve critical scale.

However, the company said it has now achieved that scale, and M&A targets will shift towards strong local and global sports media outlets with a significant and loyal readership, often with most revenue generated from regular advertising under a single business model.

Co-founder and CEO of Better Collective Jesper Søgaard commented: “We have always been dreaming big at Better Collective, and today is no different.

“We are uniquely positioned to consolidate the digital sports media space. There are a lot of synergies to harvest in combining strong authoritative sports media with large viewerships and Better Collective’s core strengths of optimisation, conversion, and diverse business models.”

Strong start to 2023

Turning to the first months of 2023, Better Collective said it registered growth of over 40%.

This comes despite the tough comparable from 2022, when the state of New York launched, causing a significant spike in revenue.

The company attributed the significant growth to the state of Ohio launching sports betting, combined with a strong performance by the group.

Better Collective said that it would continue to invest in growing organically, including establishing a stronger presence in LATAM and other emerging markets where regulation is or is expected to facilitate operations.