Brazil and Beyond with Ivan Montik of SOFTSWISS

Ivan Montik, Founder and CEO of SOFTSWISS, is a serial entrepreneur on a seemingly unstoppable winning streak. In the last 15-years, he’s founded more successful businesses than most entrepreneurs have in their lifetime and at 42 he’s just warming up, writes Lauren Harrison.

Like many entrepreneurs, Ivan’s began his ascent to success from humble beginnings.

His climb to the summit of the gaming world began, somewhat incongruously, with him opening a car wash. Establishing now-leading gambling, tech, and finance companies–including Champ-Belts by Gridin, BGaming, CoinsPaid and Merkeleon–followed.

But perhaps his most successful venture to date is SOFTSWISS.

Launched in 2009, SOFTSWISS is a veritable iGaming trailblazer, introducing innovative solutions, such as one of the first crypto casino platforms, and it’s grown into a dominant force in the European gaming scene. Now a leading multi-jurisdictional gambling service provider, SOFTSWISS has become one of the biggest content aggregators on the market.

As SOFTSWISS sets its sights on Brazil, iGF’s Head of Content, Curtis Roach, asks Ivan about the company’s upcoming plans, the appointment of F1 motor racing legend Rubens Barrichello as a non-Executive Director – and the lessons this international mover brings to the hot LatAm market.

There are a lot of already established markets in Latin America. Why did you choose Brazil to launch first?

“Brazil is one of the biggest markets in North America in terms of population and business demand. Currently, it is moving from an unregulated grey area market to a regulated market. We picked Brazil because we want to be part of this change, to join the momentum, and to help our existing and new clients to operate efficiently and with the best software.”

You appointed racing legend Rubens Barrichello as the non-executive director for Latin America. Why was he the right choice, especially in a region that is so heavily football-dominated?

“At first, we weren’t 100 percent sure. But then we spoke with him and realised he has the face and the business acumen required for the role. Choosing the face of your brand is a challenging task as they not only represent the company but are also responsible for driving its growth.

“Rubens is one of the most popular Brazilian sportsmen in history, with strong local knowledge and an understanding of the culture. He has a vast network, including the Formula One family, and has raced worldwide, making him highly experienced in the industry and knowledgeable about the market and its business side—he knows the culture inside and out.

“We’re particularly excited about his experience leading and working in teams. Throughout his career, he’s been a great team player, knowing how to bring people, cars, and engineers together to achieve a single goal. We want him to share this experience with the company, so we’ve planned some company webinars and offline activities.

“We’re proud of our team; everyone who works with us at SOFTSWISS is responsible for our success, not just me, so we’re looking forward to investing in this respect—it’s a great advantage of having Rubens on board.”

SOFTSWISS has a lot of experience as a market leader in Europe. What lessons, market knowledge, or skill sets are transferable into the Brazilian context?

“Most European markets are 20-plus years old, mature, meaning the competition for operators, developers, and suppliers is hard. In this context, we’ve had to be innovative to beat our competitors. This experience and way of approaching business are invaluable in making things more efficient and bringing the best solutions to the Brazilian market – once adapted for Brazilian tastes, culture, regulation and betting behaviours, of course.”

You’ve already taken big steps to establish yourself in the Brazilian market. Over the next few years, which markets do you see yourself targeting next, and why?

“If [you’re] discussing Latin America then both Peru and Chile are exciting. We also need to look at Argentina because it’s a huge market. I’m [also] keen to focus on some other countries, such as Uruguay.

“I think we must first focus on our primary goal, becoming one of Brazil’s leading software suppliers. This will help us penetrate other markets because we’ll be a flagship product based on our Brazilian reputation.

“The way I see it is that it’s always best to focus on one thing. Spread yourself too thinly, and you will not succeed. You will be a little bit everywhere, and succeeding nowhere. We aim to first get serious in Brazil as our flagship LatAm market, then move into other countries.”

Editor’s Note:

Under Ivan’s leadership, SOFTSWISS is ready to join the Brazilian momentum as Latin America’s so-called “Sleeping Giant” finally awakes.

Moving from an Unregulated to a Regulated Market and becoming the gambling powerhouse of the continent won’t be easy. However, with the best software and solutions, SOFTSWISS will likely be the preferred choice for many operators.

Achieving success in Europe has taught the SOFTSWISS team how to play the game from the most innovative and competitive angles.

According to Ivan, this lesson will prove invaluable in the Brazilian context as operators race to make their mark and provide the best player experience.

What’s next for SOFTSWISS after Brazil? Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay are all points of interest. But first, the priority is making Brazil the company’s continental flagship.

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