Vancouver, British Columbia–(December 23, 2022) – FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (TSX: FANS) (OTCQX: FUNFF) (“FansUnite” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide a corporate update.
“This was a transformative year as we reached significant milestones in advancing our overall business. Most notably, we set new Company records by generating a total revenue of $20.08 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, and producing a quarter of positive cash flow from operations, for the first time, in Q1 Fiscal 2022,” said Scott Burton, CEO of FansUnite. “This year, we also secured additional B2B partnerships, expanded Betting Hero’s affiliate presence, obtained new gaming licenses for two North American betting jurisdictions, and removed substantial contingent liabilities.”
Strong Revenue Growth
FansUnite has generated significant revenue growth, as highlighted by its total revenue of $20.08 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, an all-time high for any nine-month period in the Company’s history. The increase in revenue was primarily driven by the operations of its wholly-owned subsidiary, American Affiliate Co., LLC (“AmAff”) through its live activation brand, Betting Hero, which offers affiliate marketing services for betting operators. The Company saw an increase in revenues from its B2C operations through its Scottish-focused UK sportsbook McBookie, as well as new revenues from its B2B segment, namely Wales-based UK sportsbook DragonBet.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2022, the Company produced a gross margin of roughly 48%. Furthermore, the Company generated positive cash flow from its operations for the first time since the Company’s inception, which amounted to approximately $0.5 million, in the first quarter of Fiscal 2022.
B2B Partnerships and Affiliate Network Expansion
In 2022, the Company continued to secure additional B2B clients for its proprietary white-label gaming solutions. On August 24, 2022, FansUnite entered into a licensing agreement with Betr Holdings Inc. (“Betr”) for the Company’s Player Account Management (“PAM”) software to support their new sports micro-betting brand, betr, which is expected to launch in Ohio in January 2023.
As previously announced in July 2022, the Company entered into a three-year licensing agreement with Lovell Brothers Limited, a well-recognized Welsh bookmaker and owner of DragonBet, to launch a new online sports wagering portal, dragonbet.co.uk, which went live on FansUnite’s Chameleon iGaming platform on September 24, 2022. To date, DragonBet has gained significant customer traction and generated over $25 million in turnover since its launch.
FansUnite also entered into a partnership with Thimba Media Limited (“Thimba Media”) as part of the Company’s operational optimization strategy. Thimba Media will oversee all marketing and customer acquisition operations for FansUnite’s Latin American-focused betting site, Vamosgg.com, beginning in December 2022. Through this partnership, both parties will receive a net gaming revenue share, enabling the Company to grow its customer base while reducing marketing costs.
Throughout the year, Betting Hero continued to expand its presence and is currently operating in 18 North American states and provinces. The Betting Hero team will offer their services in Ohio and Massachusetts once these states launch sports betting in 2023. Additionally, Betting Hero Research, a paid research services division, launched last year, saw significant growth in 2022 while Betting Hero Hotline, an expert in customer retention and development, has received positive partner feedback and serves as an add-on service to the Chameleon B2B platform.
North American Licensing Strategy
FansUnite has obtained gaming supplier licenses for two North American betting jurisdictions, Ontario (Canada) and Ohio (U.S.). These licenses are integral to FansUnite’s expansion across North America, and the Company intends to secure additional licenses in further jurisdictions in accordance with its clients’ operations. For instance, the Company pursued and received an Ohio gaming supplier license to accommodate betr’s expected launch in Ohio in January 2023.
As part of the Company’s licensing strategy, the Company also obtained the GLI-33 Event Wagering Systems certification from Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®), an internationally recognized independent regulated gaming testing laboratory, for its Chameleon Platform as a Service sportsbook solution.
Addition to the Leadership Team
On October 6, 2022, FansUnite appointed Quinton Singleton, a seasoned gaming industry expert to the Company’s Board of Directors. As the Company scales its operations, Singleton will draw from his expertise in launching products and bringing companies to market, operations, technology, corporate finance and M&A to provide guidance to FansUnite on developing and executing its North American expansion strategy.
To maintain a healthy balance sheet, FansUnite eliminated $51.8 million in contingent liability after restructuring earn-out obligations with the proceeds from a senior term loan, which amounts to $8.23 million, secured in connection with the previously announced definitive agreement with Centurion Financial Trust, an investment trust formed by Centurion Asset Management Inc., in September 2022.
Transfer of Wagers.com
The Company is also pleased to announce that AmAff has agreed to transfer all the intellectual property and intangible assets relating to the wagers.com domain and related online presence, as well as any trademarks (the “Assets”), to 404 LLC (“404”), a company controlled by Christopher Grove, by no later than December 30, 2022, pursuant to an online presence transfer agreement dated December 19th, 2022 (the “Effective Date”), subject to closing conditions customary for a transaction of this nature. As consideration for the Assets, 404 will return or cause Christopher Grove to return 5,000,000 common shares in the capital of the Company (the “Shares”) for cancellation.
Fair Market Value
The parties made commercially reasonable efforts to determine the fair market value of the of the Assets (the “Asset FMV”) as of the Effective Date, and have agreed that the Assets are worth the five day volume weighted average price of the Shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) prior to Effective Date, being C$384,500. If at any time it is asserted by AmAff or 404, or a taxation authority with jurisdiction over the parties determines, that the Asset FMV as of the Effective Date was greater or less than C$384,500, the parties will attempt to agree on such fair market value and, if they are unable so to agree, either of them will submit the matter for determination by arbitration.
The transaction has been approved by the TSX.
404 is a related party of the Company, because Christopher Grove is a director of FansUnite and also holds more than 50% of 404’s membership interests. Therefore, the Transaction is a “related party transaction” as such term is defined in Multilateral Instrument 61-101 Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (“MI 61-101”). Accordingly, the Company is relying on the exemptions from the valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements of MI 61-101 contained in sections 5.5(a) and 5.7(1)(a) of MI 61-101, given that neither (A) the fair market value of the subject matter of, nor (B) the fair market value of the consideration for, the Transaction, insofar as it involves interested parties, exceeds 25% of the market capitalization of the Company, as determined in accordance with MI 61-101. The Transaction has been approved by the independent directors of the Company.
In 2023, the Company plans to drive continued growth by implementing the following operational initiatives:
Streamline operations and optimize costs
FansUnite intends to continue optimizing its operations in order to maximize cost efficiencies without impacting the growth of its revenue segments. As a result, certain business units are currently under strategic review to determine any potential synergies or areas for optimization. As noted above, the Company has signed a partnership with Thimba Media and moving forward, the Company will evaluate similar opportunities to streamline other business units.
Scale up business units that generate high revenues and margins
The Company will focus on growing higher revenue and cash-flowing business segments. As sports betting and iGaming become legalized in more North American states, the Company intends to expand its B2B and affiliate operations by securing additional clients within the U.S. and Canadian gaming industry. Additionally, FansUnite intends to allocate more resources to McBookie to drive user activity and traffic, which has a proven track record of generating strong turnover and gross gaming revenue.
Mr. Burton added, “As we enter 2023, our goal is to generate positive cash flow by expanding our B2B and affiliate operations, while unlocking synergies to maximize cost efficiencies and ensure the continued growth of our revenue and gross margins. Betting Hero will go live in two new U.S. states in early 2023 and we intend to continue entering new marketplaces to launch our Chameleon iGaming Platform and Betting Hero’s services. Overall, we are well-positioned to achieve our strategic goals in 2023.”