As President of Tangelo Games, Vicens Marti treated the audience at Casual Connect Europe in London about how to make a successful merger or acquisition between two related but different businesses. He spoke of the various parts on how to identify the synergies between the two companies. This included how to bridge different cultures and identities and set up and keep a correct balance of power. This launches the need to make a strategically based plan to support an effective brand migration and other important aspects. See the full presentation entitled Top Tips on How to Ensure a Successful Merger or Acquisition Between Two Related but Different Businesses Within the Social Casino Industry to learn more.
Vicens Marti, President of Tangelo Games is an expert on the specifics of the gaming industry who focuses on strategy, business development and investor relations. Vicens’ road to this position began with mundijuegos.com, a web of traditional games that was starting to gain some traction in the Spanish market. Seven years ago the original founders were looking for someone who knew how to scale companies. The person they found was Vicens, who joined the company and became co-founder of Akamon which became the leading social casino company in Latin America and southern Europe. Later, when Tangelo Games acquired Akamon, Vicens was appointed president.
Vicens’ previous career experience has been critical to succeeding in this position; it included fundraising from venture capitalists, managing large teams, exiting companies and mergers. And all of these have now happened at Tangelo Games.
What Vicens enjoys most about his work today is seeing people grow. As an example, Vicens describes, “My current second in command and COO, Oscar Fonrodona, started in marketing seven years ago, and he basically now runs all day to day activities.”
The Best Career Strategy
When asked what inspired them to pursue this career Vicens claims, “Nobody and nothing.” Instead, he never had a career plan; Vicens believes having fun and doing what he finds interesting is the best career strategy.
So, to anyone else interested in the same career he emphasizes that concentrating on something that is fun and intellectually challenging is the most effective thing to do. And, of course, it helps if you spend most of your time doing something you are very good at.
Dealing With Transformation
As President of Tangelo Games, Vicens admits the greatest challenge is leading a company that has, as it was growing, gone through a number of corporate transformations, including being founded, sold, merged, and doing all of it while continuing with innovations. “The challenges are never fully completed,” Vicens says, “they are always ongoing and I am still having fun trying to overcome them along with my team.”
Vicens is someone who enjoys doing many things at once, whether as investor, co-founder or business angel. Right now he is involved in one way or another in many industries, including Blockchain, electronic music, adtech, and corporate finance. The only things he is not doing are what he dreamed of as a child: becoming an astronaut or a journalist. While he did study journalism at university, life and career choices soon took Vicens to entertainment, internet, gaming and entrepreneurship.
The moment in his career that Vicens remembers with the most pride was when, as COO of Vueling Airlines, he convinced David Guetta to spin at 30,000 feet in their maiden flight from Paris to Ibiza. This was an incredible success as a PR event and was covered by global media. You can still find it on YouTube.
Vicens got his start in the gaming industry in the year 2000, after his first internet business failed. He was offered a job by the Spanish gaming giant, Cirsa (now a part of equity firm, Blackstone), offered Vicens a job, although in their non-gaming division. He was soon offered a promotion inside the company in the core gambling business, and have never left the industry since then.
What’s Happening In Casino
In the next few years in the industry, Vicens expects Blockchain and messaging platforms to become global trends. Tangelo Games is preparing for the increasing importance of messaging platforms by developing a strategy and game development pipeline on Facebook’s Instant Games and will follow that with other messaging platforms. Vicens is very bullish on Blockchain, but is not certain how people will leverage this transformative technology, particularly in social casino.
When comparing social casino and online real money gambling, Vicens believes that the two have different demographics. The typical online casino paying player is more similar to land-based casino players. Social casino is still growing faster than global GDP, but real money gambling is dependent on new regulated markets and tends to flourish around GDP growth.
Develop a Strategy
Land-based casinos need to develop a social casino strategy, according to Vicens. He cites the information from Super Data Report that states 83% of paying users in social casino visited a land-based casino in the previous twelve months. Vicens emphasizes that it is the best proxy available for a CRM B2C unit. He says, “It offers excellent crossover promotions, with the added bonus that, if well run, it is actually very profitable.”
Vicens does not see immediate opportunities for using Apple Watch or Oculus for social casino. Apple Watch would require a very simple game that would surprise everyone. Oculus has future possibilities, but it will be some time before there is wide enough adoption.
There are certainly opportunities for skill-based casino. Skill-based games will attract Millennials and Generation X, since they clearly prefer stay-at-home entertainment to casinos. Both land-based casinos and social casino must pay attention to these groups in order to bridge the gap and attract them.
There are definitely important emerging markets for social casino according to Vicens. Brazil has always been a very important market for Tangelo Games; 25% of their total user base is from Latin America, with Brazil the main country of origin, generating about 15% of their global revenues. Asia is also a region with tremendous potential, although there are difficulties in measuring its revenues.
Other than those of Tangelo Games, Vicens’ favorite social casino apps are from Huuuge Games; he considers this company a true innovator. He also finds Murka’s apps impressive.
To keep up with the social casino landscape, Vicens reads very thoroughly Eilers and Krejcik Gaming Research reports.
Vicens’ major interest, other than his work, is electronic music and in fact, is a shareholder at elrow, a global electronic music brand which produces shows in five continents. He also loves traveling, discovering new restaurants, cooking and sports.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.