Talk Gambling Founder & CEO Ross Timmins spoke with Kwiff CFO, Mike Goode about his route into the industry and lessons learnt along the way. They also discussed Kwiff’s achievements in 2023 and their focus for 2024.
You have spent many years in financial roles with the likes of Sky, Modern Times Group and GAN but what led you specifically to the CFO role with Kwiff?
My financial career path to kwiff CFO covers pivotal roles at Sky, Modern Times Group, and GAN. My time with Sky and Modern Times Group centred around acquiring sports rights, and my years in the casino industry with GAN, paved the way for my arrival at kwiff.
kwiff presented an opportunity for me to use a combination of my sports background and casino industry experience, aligning perfectly with the company’s next growth stage. I have a passion for driving growth and development, and kwiff’s ambitions aligned perfectly with this. Furthermore, kwiff has always been at the forefront of pioneering technology and this makes my role especially exciting. My long-running love for the dynamic and fast-paced gambling industry played a major part in me choosing kwiff. The company’s blend of innovation, growth potential, and industry position makes it an ideal fit for my skills and interests.
Can you give our readers an insight into what a day in the life of Kwiff’s CFO is like?
At kwiff, no one day is the same. There are always an array of tasks and challenges, making my role both fun and diverse. To begin each day I catch-up with the senior management team, setting the tone and tasks for the day. These meetings enable us to align our immediate tasks with our medium and long-term objectives, ensuring cohesive progress across all departments.
A good part of the day is spent working closely with the finance team but this means more than just managing the Group’s finances; it’s about integrating our financial strategies with the company’s broader goals. My responsibilities span various departments, including strategy, HR, legal, compliance, and payments, demanding flexibility and adaptability. This cross-departmental engagement is a highlight of my role, allowing me to contribute to and influence multiple elements of our business.
You must have learnt some valuable lessons along the way, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to follow a similar path?
Learning and adapting have been two constants that help offer valuable insights into business and leadership. My main piece of advice is to expect the unexpected. Business is always dynamic and usually pretty unpredictable; hence, adaptability is key. We faced a major moment at kwiff in 2020 when I was part of a management turnaround, a venture that was risky yet held immense potential.
There were considerable potential downsides, but we weighed these against the rewards before making a final decision. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit should be ready to take calculated risks. An important lesson I’ve learned is the acceptance that you will never know everything. The strength of the people around you is of the utmost importance.
Team members bring diverse expertise and perspectives, making them a pivotal asset in any business. Forming a culture of teamwork which allows open communication is far more effective than working in silos. Fostering a collaborative environment nurtures innovation and a more cohesive work environment. Anyone on this career path should welcome change, treat your team with respect, and collaborate to reach your targets.
What sets Kwiff apart from other competitors within the industry?
Like any good business, our people are the key to our success and the culture we have established is key to letting them thrive. But on paper what stands out is our technology. kwiff’s proprietary tech is the heartbeat in our super-charged betting service. This ‘supercharge’ feature is what stands us out and it’s a critical aspect of our IP. This feature is exclusive to kwiff. It emphasises our commitment to innovation and agility, allowing us to quickly and effectively adapt to new opportunities that enter the market. Our platform’s agility and intuitive nature keeps us ahead in an ever evolving industry.
Our company culture is another element we’re extremely proud about. We have a fairly small team compared to others in the space , with just under 100 people Group-wide, which helps us maintain a lean and efficient operation. A flat management system is another key aspect. It ensures that everyone feels that it’s their business and means we all work towards the same goals and ambitions.
What was Kwiff’s greatest achievement in 2023?
Last year was very strong for the business and one that produced many achievements. Our continued work to stabilise a sustainable cost base has been fundamental in allowing crucial further investment in our sportsbook technology platform.
A driving factor in our success was the focused improvement on key performance indicators. This work enabled us to define the right metrics to deliver an experience that players love engaging with. Our commitment to constantly monitor and refine our performance ensured that we provided the best platform experience. Investing in data across all business areas was another major achievement. The tech team successfully developed personalised and segmented finance reporting, adding substantial value to our decision-making.
These changes improved our financial strategies, while simultaneously creating a data-centric culture. Many product improvements were rolled out last year that led to major upgrades in both quality and diversity, keeping us at the forefront of the industry.
What is kwiff’s key focus and priorities for 2024?
The focus for kwiff is to drive even more commercial value in our international operations, building on the strong foundations established over the last two years. We aim to extend our global reach and deepen our market impact, striving to be a significant force in the regions we operate. A critical goal for 2024 is to enter another regulated market, reflecting our commitment to expanding our global footprint while maintaining the highest standards of regulatory compliance. From a financial standpoint we’re concentrating on implementing robust frameworks for structural growth. Innovation in our casino and sportsbook offerings is another area we are committing considerable resources.
Our finance team will be invaluable for underpinning these expansion strategies, ensuring a strong financial base for future development.
We’re very aware that maintaining growth and customer loyalty hinges on continually enhancing and innovating our products. Finance plays a critical role in all of these areas.
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