Konstantin Katsev, co founder at True Flip Group, speaks to SiGMA News about the tough decisions that have led to growth, success, and an award-winning casino platform solution
Can you describe the True Flip Group story so far?
Back in 2017 crypto seemed a big thing, and along with two fellow co-founders and a small team, I started investigating a very narrow niche: developing a crypto lottery. We were among the pioneers of crypto gambling, and it took a while and lots of effort to learn how to interact with this audience, and develop the product features most appealing to them.
Honestly, none of the founders could brag about having any experience in starting up iGaming products, so many discoveries arrived through trial and error. I’m proud that at a certain point back then we chose to shift towards the regulated markets and diversify assets. Now spread across four offices and having acquired both the B2B and B2C permits from the MGA, the Group develops game supply, as well as the platform and the operation divisions.
Of course, we had to take some tough decisions, but each team now contributes to the group -bringing their own clear value, and we’ve been scaling significantly. Our inspiring recent partnerships and a few upcoming deals should define our well-being in the following year.
What problems and obstacles have you experienced on the way?
Of course, getting on the rails with regulation seemed a challenge a few years ago, but our compliance is emerging and is much better established now.
Having started working in regulated markets, we understand how difficult it is for new brands to break through in such a saturated space.
True Flip and True Lab need to rush twice as fast as the market leaders to offer clients something notable technologically and marketing wise. Our volumes at True Flip grow, but still not enough to grant the lowest rates from our B2B partners. And True Lab, given its high production costs, is forced to maintain low prices and offer partners good promotional budgets. This means all proceeds so far are being fully reinvested in the development of the Group's divisions.
Looking for talented people and maintaining decent conditions for them on par with large companies is still the main challenge, though our team grows steadily.
So, is there still a focus on crypto in the True Flip Group, does it still have a presence?
Well, yes and no. We haven’t done “provably fair crypto games” for a while now. We don’t deal with any magic blockchain solutions out there. However, True Flip operates one of the most successful crypto-friendly casinos and nearly doubled up in deposits in just a quarter.
We have delivered the next-level solution to combine classic and crypto payment methods within our platform, so now it could beat your favourite banking app. That is exactly the experience generating value.
Moreover, the operation team is now up to scratch on crypto affiliation.
How does your crypto enthusiasm fit with the MGA regulations?
These two worlds never meet in our products.
A few years ago True Flip Group filed an early request to partake in the Maltese “blockchain regulation sandbox”, but there’s no evidence that MGA will allow crypto users anytime soon.
There’s always space for disruptive ideas, but our general approach is to follow the regulations and clearly indicate our intentions to the gaming authorities. Our casino platform solution has lately acquired probably one of the most comprehensive sets of responsible gaming tools on the market, nominated for the EGR Award alongside such leaders as Kindred and Videoslots.
What are True Lab up to at the moment?
Our game studio shows new titles nearly once a month both across its own partner network, and via the Yggdrasil’s YG Masters' franchise. Our September release, Victoria Wild, is live in over 300 casinos and seems to be our most successful game so far. Two more games will follow this year, and 8-10 games will arrive in 2021. True Lab’s network releases are backed up with tailored promotions, and the YG Masters’ games are enabled with Yggdrasil’s top-notch BOOST tools. The studio now deepens relations with its affiliate partners, and makes use of the new traffic acquisition channels.
Any insights you can share on the future of iGaming? Anything you're working on?
We are working on a set of machine learning features based on big data for our white label solution.
I won’t tease too much until our platform team comes up with the final setup, but these features should probably add significant value to our offer, as these are mainly intended to automatically detect and prevent fraud.
Obviously in True Lab, data drives the developments too, we analyse how various combinations of volatility, hit frequency, general game logic and bonus features affect its success. So meanwhile we're developing our own tool set to manage and structure our case studies, which is very likely to turn into something standalone later in the coming year.
Any plans in the pipeline for 2021?
The teams focus on deepening our footprints with the established three verticals. Best efforts have been put into making the platform solution commercially viable. A pool of initial clients have signed to take off in 2021 with what we call True Label.
This adds to the new MGA-licensed brand EMOJINO that took off in November having signed direct contracts with around 20 top game providers. Several neighbouring brands might be added later in 2021 depending on what we achieve with EMOJINO.
And we're working closely with our legal partners to work out a roadmap to acquiring more legal permits. The Group also intends to switch to the International Financial Reporting Standards. When it comes to True Lab, some very promising partner deals are expected soon, and of course the studio will show new exceptional games.
About SiGMA Europe
SiGMA Europe will take place on February 16-18, 2021. Europe remains a leading market for gaming, making this the perfect opening gaming show for 2021. Join us for the 7th edition of SiGMA at the MFCC - Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre, and explore how you can benefit from being a delegate, a sponsor, an exhibitor or a keynote speaker.