XLMedia expands into Romania with affiliate acquisitions
XLMedia's Ory Weihs has reaffirmed his company's commitment to the igaming industry with the announcement that it has bought a portfolio of Romanian-facing affiliate websites and obtained a licence in the country.
The digital marketing company paid approximately US$1m for the online betting and gambling content websites, the most significant of which is ponturi-bune.ro, a predominantly sports-focused affiliate site that also covers the casino and poker verticals.
Although this year XLMedia has made significant acquisitions outside the igaming space, including Canadian credit card comparison website Greedyrates.ca and mobile performance marketing platform ClicksMob, chief executive Ory Weihs said the Romanian deal demonstrated its continuing commitment to the igaming industry.
“We have quite a lot of activities outside of gambling but still gambling is our biggest vertical and this is a display that we are still very much interested in investing in it,” said Weihs.
“Although this is a smallish deal it shows that even though we’ve acquired assets outside the gambling sector in the last couple of years as well, we’re still very much interested to grow in gambling, especially in regulated markets like Romania, and we expect to make more acquisitions in the future.”
Since 2015, in order to operate in Romania affiliates have been required to obtain a Class II licence from Romania’s National Gambling Office (ONJN). XLMedia was granted a licence in January and there are currently 28 other affiliates holding licences in the country, according to the ONJN’s website.
A number of leading European operators have entered the Romanian market since the new regulatory system was put in place, and the fact that many of its clients are already in Romania was one of the driving factors behind XLMedia’s decision to enter the market, said Weihs.
Ponturi Bune counts large European operators such as 888, Unibet and NetBet among its affiliate marketing partners.
He added that he believes the Romanian market has a lot of potential for further growth. “Of course it is a less mature market than Scandinavia or the UK but it is not necessarily a reflection of the market size.
“It always has been a very active sportsbetting market, it is a growing economy, there are quite a lot of people in Romania, it is in the European union, it is regulated so it has all the characteristics of a gambling market that we are interested in.”
XLMedia and other large affiliates such as Catena and Raketech have been very active in acquiring smaller affiliates over the past 18 months, with the pace of M&A activity expected to continue in the near future.
Related articles: M&A activity in affiliate sector likely to keep on rising (paywall)
XLMedia details mobile-focused acquisition
XLMedia to acquire Canada’s Greedyrates
XLMedia hails ‘significant’ progress as finances rise
Gamble paying off in Romania (paywall)