Kindred is conducting a strategic review which could result in the sale of another US sports betting brand under the group, Unibet. Although the Stockholm-based is launching its own proprietary platform in New Jersey next month, it is exploring all potential alternatives that can deliver value for the company’s shareholders, including a merger or sale of the company or other strategic transactions
The North American operations for Unibet improved year-to-year, but the brand is still operating at a loss. The release about the strategic review did not mention Unibet specifically, but it’s clear that all options are being considered by the company.
“As part of this strategic process, the Board of Directors will consider all potential alternatives that can deliver value for the Company’s shareholders. Such alternatives could include a merger or sale of the Company (in whole or in part) or other possible strategic transactions,” read the strategic review, which was released on Wednesday.
Unibet is now part of a wave that is hitting the US sports betting market, with Yahoo buying Wagr and PointsBet’s US business being up for sale.
In October, Kindred announced its exit from the Iowa market after just a year due to the absence of iGaming to increase revenue and cross-selling. Kindred also reduced costs related to Unibet and experienced a decline in EBITDA losses and an increase in quarterly revenue.
Upcoming launch in New Jersey
Unibet, which has been operating in New Jersey since 2019, is actually expected to launch a new platform in mid-May. According to a recent press release, the launch of Unibet’s new platform is Kindred’s significant move in expanding its presence in North America.
Unibet provides various online games in New Jersey — online slots, table games, poker and sports betting — through its current platform provider, Kambi.
Kindred Group CEO Henrik Tjärnström expressed his satisfaction with the upcoming launch of the Kindred platform in New Jersey, saying that he was “immensely proud of everybody at Kindred who made this possible.”
Kindred made $381.8 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2023, a significant rise from the $307.4 million it made in Quarter 1 of 2022. It also reported an EBITDA of $58.9 million in Q1 2023, an increase from $27.4 million in Q1 2022.
The company’s growth in Q1 2023 was mainly driven by its operations in the Netherlands, where revenue rose by 24 percent compared to Q1 2022. The 2022 FIFA World Cup also contributed to the revenue as Kindred saw an 18 percent active customer growth, reaching 1.6 million customers in Q1.
Unibet expands to metaverse
In addition to its online sports betting offerings, Unibet expanded into the blockchain space by launching the Unibet Arena in the metaverse during “French weeks,” which ran from March 23 to April 6, 2023.
The Unibet Arena in the metaverse offers multiple sports and casino games for players to explore. With dedicated arenas for football, tennis, basketball, poker and boxing matches, players can enjoy unique gameplay mechanics for each sport.
The arena features 14 challenges, including hidden areas and bonus games, providing players with plenty of entertainment opportunities.
Unibet has also established a responsible gaming hub within the Unibet Arena to ensure that its responsible gambling tools are readily available to players in the metaverse.
“In line with our Kindred Value, ‘We seek to innovate,’ we have decided to explore this new territory. While many ‘universes’ are available for brands within the metaverse, we have decided to collaborate with The Sandbox, a French online gaming platform that offers a unique and immersive experience to become the first betting experience in their platform.”
– Pierre Reboux, Kindred Group marketing and sponsorship manager
The company launched the Unibet Arena on The Sandbox alongside 13 other French brands with their own metaverse lands available for customers.