Dmitry Yakovlev, Co-Founder, CEO Gamblica:
Q: Online casinos are being actively developed, so more and more computer users tend to spend time and money on such entertainments. You’ve been working on Gamblica project to enter this market and introduce a different gambling algorithm to the clients. Could you tell us about the services your platform is ready to offer?
A: We offer our future client not only a new gambling algorithm but also a completely different brand new gambling level. We’re focusing on the quality of product-related services. Today openness and transparency, as well as an intuitive interface which is simple to understand and convenient to use, are becoming issues of the highest priority. This particular approach we call gambling 2.0. Think about smartphones: we as users have broken new ground in usability and convenience which made the product highly valuable. Our company is like Apple in the field of smartphones – we create similar revolutionary decisions but in gambling.
Q: I’m pretty sure that dozens of people have been working on the project. Could you tell us about your development team?
A: Having put together a team of experts from various fields (gambling, IT, marketing, law, investment and finance), we’ve managed to develop both convenient and beautiful, as well as simple and client-focused product from scratch so that each user would constantly enjoy every interaction with Gamblica platform. It was truly important to involve not only computer specialists who wrote the code, configured operations, and tested usability for the project but also people from the business environment. Due to such complexed approach, at the moment Gamblica tends to be an exclusive and maybe even the best online gambling service on the market. We do not just make a casino where everyone can try his or her luck, but also a really interesting functionality for users which makes them spend more time on our website than on some others.
Q: Didn’t you have a feeling that bringing such a game-changing product to an established market was sort of risky?
A: I’d say that the most innovative part of our product is a design. We took the best from traditional companies providing betting services and combined all this on Gamblica platform. I don’t think it was risky at all. Developing the interface and the design of our website, we were getting more and more proofs that pages of all the major betting and gambling services look very old-fashioned. Their design hasn’t been updated for years. Our approach is Beautiful, Cool, and Nice to Gamble! An additional advantage that is really important for gamblers is using blockchain to protect the game and make it more open. Blocking accounts, winnings nonpayment, regular transaction rollbacks – all these things are now back in the past as nowadays we use smart-contracts. We’re the first in this field!
Q: Private investors have helped you to develop your project. Why did you decide to use fundraising?
A: Well, that’s simple. The modern market is rapidly developing and progressing. However, it’s rather monopolized so companies aren’t always ready to keep up with the times. I’m sure that within the modern market you can’t ignore certain trends. Deep market monopolization means a high barrier to entry for gambling services. That’s why we had to use fundraising. Private investors have helped us not only to incarnate our ideas in the final product but also successfully bring it to a highly competitive market. Moreover, we’ve found out that promoting the product as well as engaging an audience and keeping it loyal takes several (or even several dozens) times as much money as developing.
Q: Gambling can harm people’s lives. Are you interested in it yourself?
A: I’ll tell you this: gambling means new emotions and feelings. I’m definitely into new experiences. If we give a person a new level of experiencing gambling, it will obviously make the product valuable and popular. People will be happy to use it. We relate on those who want to have a good time and hit a nerve by betting on some event or outcomes of a favorite team’s game, pit their poker skills against other players, take chances in casino or slots where the result is formed by a transparent random number generator.
Q: How much time has passed between having the idea of the product and its actual realization?
A: “Realization” hasn’t completed yet. Right now we’re working on issuing the first release version of the platform. The idea of creating such a product came to me three years ago and it shaped into the project we have now about a year ago, November 2017.
Q: Your project is the first one in Russia. Do you have any competitors? Is it an albatross to be a pioneer?
A: Actually, yes. It’s rather hard though we don’t have many competitors. There are companies that try to make a similar product and improve this field using modern technologies such as decentralization and blockchain. There have been such projects before we came, however, unfortunately (or maybe luckily for us) none of them have launched a working version of their platforms yet. I can recall such platforms as “DAO”, “Funfair” and “Trueflip”. However, users haven’t seen a fully-fledged product yet. Although I know that some of these projects (for example, “Funfair”) have raised more than 100 million US dollars. Our team is going to issue the first version of the product with the raised sum of more than 4 million US dollars. Developing Gamblica we strictly follow the roadmap which is really important both for our future users and investors. We work carefully and keep a declared project delivery time.
Q: How would you estimate perspectives of a brand new gambling market based on blockchain and its current state? Will it be influenced by the increasing number of participants and parties involved?
A: It depends on the particular blockchain field itself. Personally, I believe in cryptocurrencies and this unique technology. Analyzing most experts’ opinions we can give a rather optimistic forecast concerning the future development and the potential of our project.
Q: Tell us about legal bearings of the case. Are there any pitfalls in launching such platforms in Russian legislation? Does Gamblica meet all the legal requirements? Should it meet them at all?
A: Gamblica keeps the laws of all the countries we’re going to work with. They mainly include European and Asian countries as well as the USA. As you see, I didn’t include Russia in this list as it’s not our top priority market. Despite the fact that we have an office in Russia, most of the company’s activity will be implemented according to Malta’s legislation. This country is a member of the EU and provides the most favorable conditions both for blockchain and gambling. Malta’s President and Prime Minister see the perspectives of modern technology development. It is one of the first countries to pass laws concerning using and regulating blockchain and gambling technologies.
Q: Betting using a blockchain technology, adding and withdrawal cryptocurrency… Tell us how you protect your clients. Taking into consideration the decentralization of the platform, will there be any problems with withdrawal?
A: It’s absolutely safe. Gamblica doesn’t have an access to users’ currency. All the tokens are distributed according to smart-contracts we make.
Q: You’ve declared selling tokens as one of the ways to engage new clients. You’ve got 7 million US dollars by doing this. How would you estimate this interest’s potential?
A: Taking into consideration that the market is on the decline, we consider this amount of money to be a great result. It assures us that marketing investors pay attention to our product. Moreover, tokens release helps us to lead our own economic and financial policy without giving promises to parties that are interested in a particular development direction.
Q: Gamblica project has a well-structured business model. We’d like to know more about your future development plans. Could you share some basic stages of your strategy? What other business tools apart from selling tokens are you going to use?
A: Selling tokens is a way of getting money via fundraising. Our business model lets generating various income models, however, our main directions include b2b and b2c markets. We open the platform for gamblers, so, basically, it’s a gambling service for those who like gambling. At the same time, we’re going to distribute our software by selling it to our partners from foreign countries and leading players of gambling market.
Q: When will Gamblica start providing all the tools and services?
A: A full-fledged functionality of casino and gambling machines will be launched within 2018. A platform with sports betting and poker room will start working in 2019, the year after the official launch. We’re looking forward to seeing the product’s final release. I invite you to keep a check on our development and become a member of our big international team of digital technology and crypto gambling fans.
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