Catena Media Seeks Salvation in AI As Shares Sink After Sorry Q4

Amid calls for a corporate clear-out and plunging share value, following the publication of a sorry Q4, Catena Media is betting on last-gasp salvation by AI.

After posting a near-catastrophic 88 percent dive in Adjusted EBITDA, and with its shares flapping at around minus-10 percent on the Stockholm Nasdaq today, European iGaming royalty and premier dealmaker Mateusz Juroszek put the boot into Catena on social media platform LinkedIn:

“I think Catena Media management should resign today and assets should be sold on the market,” said Juroszek, founder of Poland’s premier iGaming company, STS, which was recently sold to Entain for what many observers consider an overly rich £750 million (US$944m/€803m).

“What a story in how to destroy [a] business,” Juroszek stated.

Swedish-origin Catena, founded in 2012 by childhood friends Erik Bergman and Emil Thidell after they set up a website company in a home basement, and now headquartered in Malta, reported revenue of €14.5 million (£12.32m) for Q4, a decline of 41 percent, year-on-year.

The slump was particularly pronounced in its stated principal target market of North America, where revenue fell by 43 percent to €12.3 million (£10.45m).

Equally worrying was a massive 43 percent crash in New Depositing Customers (NDCs), declining from 56,040 players to 32,032.

Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations crashed 88 percent, year-on-year, to €1.5 million (£1.27m) from €11.8 million (£10.03m).

It would appear that the Media Affiliate, which posted revenue of €138 million (£117.33m) in 2022, and once looked set to become a rarefied Super Affiliate, has failed to grasp the zeitgeist and boom in US iGaming and digital sportsbooks.


North America, representing some 87 percent of the group’s revenue, fell 21 percent to €67.1 million (£57.05m), with NDCs folding 19 percent to 184,257 people.

“Rapid technological developments and the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are reshaping the media industry,” affirmed Catena CEO Michael Daly (pictured left) in mitigation.

“For the online sports betting and casino gaming sector, the changes will be huge.

“At Catena Media we are determined to be a leading force in this new landscape.

“We are currently implementing a wide-ranging internal investment programme–including large investments in both tech and AI–to fast-track our ambition to be the data- and technology-driven leader of online affiliate marketing in the sports betting and casino gaming space.

“These projects are significant in the context of our Q4 figures, which were disappointing and with which I am not satisfied.

“Planned and initiated earlier in 2023, the investments have since been accelerated.

“They are designed to position us for the future and also to restore the group to a sustainable long term growth trajectory.

“We see AI as a positive force that will empower our teams and leverage their knowledge, leading to better and more attractive products and higher revenue over time.”

For the sake of Daly and Catena, we can only hope that Wall-E, Alexa, Siri or WhatsItsFace is listening.

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