Affiliate Grand Slam by SiGMA
Robert Andersson, CEO and President of Acroud AB, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Robert Andersson and the rest of the team at Acroud AB have had a good year. They did have their struggles, but they took the opportunity to redefine themselves - follow his story below.
"We are Acroud. Join the ride!" Why should affiliates choose to join the ride with Acroud?
The statement is a call to action, which should appeal both to partner/operators as well as future and current employees. We are a challenger on a quest.
Tell us a bit more about your business model, concept, and corporate culture.
Our business model mainly focuses on revenue share in the casino, poker, and sportsbook verticals in the iGaming sector. With the acquisitions, we will widen that model with SaaS subscription models.
You have just rebranded from Highlight Media to Acroud. What are the top reasons that led to this rebranding?
A need for a wider change program, and as a part of that, a new name was natural. The company was also previously known under two names. In Sweden, where the company is listed, it was know as Netgaming. In Malta, where we have operations and HQ, people called it Highlight Media. It was time to end that confusion with ONE new name.
M&A is an important tool for the acquiring company. Why is that from your experience? What are the pros and cons of M&A? The post-merger integration, PMI, is complex and critical and some companies succeed and grow, others fail. Can you tell us more about this and the challenges that you may come across.
There are many versions and targets of making an acquisition. So each PMI will look different and the deal needs to be structed in the best possible way to align with the purpose of that transaction. The biggest downfall, I believe, is not nurturing the deal once it's concluded. That's just getting to the starting line. Buying a company is never the finish line.
You’ve been active in Swedish markets predominantly. Which GEOs outside Europe are you eyeing? And why?
This statement is wrong. Sweden is a relatively small market for us. USA and UK as well as some bigger European markets have been the focus for us. We are constantly looking at potential new GEOs.
With streamers converting so much faster than SEO sites these days, do you find it trickier to invest in acquiring in good ranking affiliate sites these days? Seems like emerging platforms out there like Twitch are shaking the affiliate business as we know it.
The only contestant in life and business is change. Adapt or die.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
In my day to day, I suspect it plays the same role as most people. Its a tool to get the work done, and with COVID-19, it has become even more important.
Which emerging technologies like AI and big data will impact the affiliate industry in 2020 and beyond?
It will for sure, and this is one of the reasons we aim to buy the PMG group.
Can you foresee any growth for iGaming affiliation? Why and by how much?
The industry will continue to grow for sure. How and by how much I can’t say. But just consider that more than 80% of gambling is still offline.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas - which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2021, COVID-19 permitting?
Never personally been, nor will I go. But it’s purely a personal reason COVID-19 or not. I am quite “uncomfortable” with too many people packed into spaces. I am happy to be on stage and talk though.
I think I understand where you're going with this. We'll make sure to invite you as a speaker this April for SiGMA Europe. I'm sure you'd make a great contribution.
Tell us a bit about yourself - after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favourite book, favourite quote, whether you are into Gaming yourself, etc.
Well, a little known fact is that I am an avid wave surfer, something that I have been doing for the past 25 years. The older you get the bigger the board tends to get. I still think it’s just as fun though. There are a lot of cliché quotes out there so I will refrain from copy pasting one of them here. Nor do I have favorite book. I read a lot of books but to single one out seems wrong.