Founded in London more than a decade ago, Betfair has grown to become one of the world’s largest online betting exchanges, raking in almost £400m in revenues each year. The company currently employs over 2,000 people worldwide, and holds betting licences in Gibraltar, the US, Australia, Italy, Denmark and Malta.
This week, the betting giant is rolling out its new App Cloud, a service for software developers to build their own transactional betting websites and widgets built atop Betfair’s platform. To get the ball rolling, Manchester United is the first out of the starting blocks, and it has now pushed its App Cloud betting service live, meaning that fans can register and bet seamlessly with the club’s tailor-made on-site betting platform.
We’re told that other App Cloud based products are in the works, including a betting widget on odds comparison website OddsChecker.
Although it was founded in the UK, Betfair upped sticks in 2011 and followed the example set by the likes of Ladbrokes and William Hill, by moving part of its business offshore to Gibraltar to slash its tax bill. Betfair isn’t like a traditional online betting platform, in that it enables users to bet at odds sought by themselves or offered by other customers, rather than betting against the bookies. The company processed more than seven million transactions a day from its four million registered customers around the world.
Betfair’s API (Application Programming Interface) provides live data from the Betfair Exchange for software developers to use in their own products, and with the launch of App Cloud, developers will be able to build Betfair-hosted interfaces on their own sites, offering their own customers Betfair products designed and built by themselves.
Currently, non-Betfair-owned and non-Betfair-built interfaces operating off Betfair’s API contribute around 20% of Betfair’s sports exchange revenues. The company says that it expects this figure to grow as the process of building these external applications is made easier for developers and more accessible for their customers.
There are approximately 70,000 Betfair customers betting on the Exchange via third-party built betting applications, with around 50 million bets and 10 billion data requests going through these apps each week. Many creators of these applications charge their users a subscription fee, and Betfair compensates third-party developers by entering a revenue-sharing agreement with them on new customers who sign up to Betfair via their products.
“Our App Cloud will further enhance the dynamism and productivity of Betfair’s developer community and in turn make more Betfair products accessible to more customers,” says Carel Vosloo, Betfair’s App Cloud Director. “Having a vibrant developer community enables Betfair to outsource ingenuity and facilitate further innovation in its product range. We’re the only ones in our industry to offer this service as only Betfair customers would pay for third-party applications. This is because only on Betfair, do customers have a chance of being winners in the long term.”
The Betfair App Cloud will be open to developers from this Wednesday (18th April).