iGlobalMedia – Profile
HQ: Irish Town, Gibraltar with major office in London.
Founded: 1997 with the launch of Starluck Casino Online. Current flagship – PartyPoker.com, launched in 2001.
Management: Hired new CEO, Richard Segal, in November 2004. He was previously CEO of Odeon Cinemas.
Investors: Company is controlled by a small number of private shareholders, including Ruth Parasol, its head of international business development. Speculation is that the company will soon go public in London. The company is estimated to achieve earnings before Ebitda of about $350M. Given the company’s rapid rate of growth, it should be able to command a valuation of well over £2B in an IPO, giving it automatic entry to the FTSE 100.
Business Model: Operates PartyPoker and PartyBingo – multiplayer online games played for wagers, as well as other online gambling sites. Since inception, system has processed billions of dollars in wagers for more than a million players in dozens of countries. Competitive advantages are its vast online marketing war chest and its reputation for preventing fraud. Multiplayer functionality sets it apart a bit, but it’s nothing special.
Competitors: Cassava Enterprises (Casino on Net, 888Casino), Golden Palace Online Casino. Cassava is located in the same Gibraltar building and is rumored to also be planning an IPO. That company is also owned by individuals – a couple of Israeli brothers.
Dirt: Founders will vault into the list of the richest people in Europe. Industry makes VCs seem so fuddy-duddy for having completely missed one of the great Internet sectors completely. None of the big players are venture backed. Are poker and bingo such vices that Sand Hill won’t touch them?