Valéry Bollier has over thirteen years of experience in the iGaming industry. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences and seminars, as well as a contributor to various B2B publications. Equipped with a passion for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and ”Big Data”, Bollier is the co-founder and CEO of Oulala, a revolutionary fantasy football game which was launched four years ago.
Can you introduce your innovative football management game and tell us how it works.
Oulala is an award-winning Daily Fantasy Football management game, launched in August 2013. Its highly innovative and advanced scoring system is what makes our game the first real skill game in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sector.
The concept is very simple; you build your own team of football players and when any of those selected play during the real life matches, you will receive points based on their actions on the real field. Oulala is a social game, meaning that customers aim to accumulate as many points as possible to surpass their competition, be it friends or colleagues, and win bragging rights.
Last year in the 3rd Issue of our magazine, June-September, 2016 we published an interesting interview with you. What have happened since we last talked?
A number of positive things have happened. At the end of the last year we closed a new funding round of €1.35 million, coming from private investors. The DFS market is currently experiencing a consistent and rapid growth in Europe, which was confirmed by the deep interest from investors during this latest funding round. We are currently in talks with numerous iGaming operators, some of whom, with our help, will begin their own Daily Fantasy Football journey at the beginning of the next football season.
Furthermore, this year we became the first company to acquire the official controlled B2B skill games licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). This was an extremely important step in the right direction as we reached our goal that was set four years ago ‒ to be regulated separately from other iGaming activities. We are incredibly proud to be participating in the development of a licensing framework that regulates skill-based games, fantasy sports included. Malta is leading the way towards regulating DFS in Europe, and our hope is that other European regulators will gradually follow suit.
Can you explain about your partnerships with iGaming operators.
We have begun to develop partnerships with iGaming operators in several countries worldwide (Italy, India, Australia, etc). We are currently in discussion with numerous European operators, and we will build partnerships with those who are most convinced that rather than trying to impose their traditional offer on millennials, it is now time to offer the younger generations exactly what they are expecting: a skill and social game.
We will announce two very important new deals very soon and will develop new iGaming partnerships at the start of the football season in August. We are also working towards launching new ones during the season, with partners from Asia, Africa, South America and, of course, Russia, the 2018 World Cup host.
Will you please speak about the latest news in the DFS industry you consider worth sharing?
In the past year we have seen the advent of new companies jumping onto the DFS bandwagon, particularly in Europe, and we look at it as good news for us since healthy competition is always beneficial for a sector. For instance, two DFS major players, FanDuel and DraftKings, are now both operating in the UK, while the latter was also able to acquire a controlled skill games licence from the MGA and announced their expansion to other countries, starting with Germany.
We are also pleased that sports betting, lottery and casino operators are now understanding the true potential of DFS.
Oulala has been honoured with a lot of prizes. Which one do you consider the most important one and why?
It is always nice to have your hard work and dedication be acknowledged by others. I will never forget last December, when we received the award for the ”Best Fantasy Sports Product” by SBC Awards. We are extremely honoured and grateful to have received such an important award which only goes to show that we are on the right path towards fulfilling our vision of becoming the leading global daily fantasy network for football.
We have also got a ”2017 ICE Prophet” award from this year’s ICE, as well as an award given for the ”Data and Business Intelligence 2016 Idol of the Year” and the ”Tech Ambassadors for Malta” award. Oulala was also a finalist for three other awards.
Please tell us about your future plans regarding Oulala.
We are now working on gaining more traction in the B2B landscape so that we can solidify our chief position as the first DFS network specialised in European football.