Jarosław Walaszek joins STS Group as Chief Information Officer
As of 1 February 2022, Jarosław Walaszek joins STS Group, the largest sports betting operator in Poland with leading proprietary technology, taking the position of Chief Information Officer. He is responsible for supporting the company’s management in the development of technologies and the overall digital environment in the Group.
Jarosław Walaszek has spent the last 16 years building the digital media world at Onet and later at Ringier Axel Springer Polska.
STS Group is the largest licensed bookmaker in Poland based on turnover, and also operates on an international scale through licenses in the United Kingdom and Estonia, from where it offers its services in several additional markets. The Group’s portfolio of services includes sports betting, virtual sports, an online casino (outside of Poland), BetGames and a wide range of betting services relating to esports.
We have full control over the technology we use because it is one of our primary competitive advantages. The STS Group structures include a company called Betsys, which has developed a proprietary bookmaking system. The platform is fully scalable and adapted to all sales channels – online, mobile and retail sales. We develop our product and technology internally and the STS team of specialists in these areas consists of approx. 160 persons. STS is not only a leader in its industry but also an attractive employer that attracts top talent. The fact that Jarek Walaszek joins the Group will allow us to build a completely new quality for customers in Poland and abroad. His experience will help make STS’s product and technology offer even more innovative and focused on mobile solutions,” says Mateusz Juroszek, CEO of STS Holding.
“I find the opportunity to join such an innovative organisation with such an ambitious digital transformation a very exciting and stimulating challenge. In my past adventure with technology in the world of digital media, I have had the opportunity to participate in and shape many complex and innovative projects, both product-related and cultural-organisational in nature. The constant search for new, effective ways of solving problems and working on a strong team identity and culture are areas that significantly shaped my previous work both as a Member of the Management Board at DreamLab Onet.pl and as an IT Development Director at Ringier Axel Springer Polska. Therefore, it is even more valuable for me to have the opportunity to work for such a dynamically developing Group and a team which sets such ambitious and progressive goals,” adds Jarosław Walaszek, CIO at STS Group.
The Group has been continuously implementing the “mobile-first” strategy based on its proprietary bookmaking system. The Company is focused on constant development of its own technology platform to meet needs of the most demanding customer and set new market standards and trends. The Group’s investments in the product portfolio and new technological solutions amounted to PLN 27.1 million in 2020, PLN 19.5 million in 2019 and PLN 6.5 million in 2018. In addition, in 2020 STS S.A. took control of the Czech technology company Betsys, in which it holds 74% of shares. Betsys is the main provider of IT solutions for a bookmaker in Poland, addressing the needs of both, online and retail channels. The Group’s product and platform development team consists in total of approximately 160 highly qualified professionals, including approximately 85 programmers, 55 other employees in technology and platform development, and 20 employees responsible for business intelligence and business analytics.
During the first 9 months of 2021 the value of the bets placed was PLN 3,27 billion. It was close to the level achieved for the full year 2020 – a record year in the Company’s history. Number of active customers at the end of September this year reached 582 thousand (an increase of over 39% y-o-y) while GGR increased by 44% y-o-y. In the same period, NGR amounted to PLN 429.1 million (46% growth y-o-y) – again the highest in the Group’s history. In the 9 months to 30 September 2021, the Group also increased its profitability. EBITDA for 9 months of this year amounted to PLN 177 million and was higher by nearly 93% y-o-y; it is also PLN 6 million more than in the full year 2020. EBITDA margin from January to September 2021 reached 41%, compared to 31% in the corresponding period in 2020.
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About STS Group
Founded in 1997, the Group is the largest bookmaking company in Poland, which also operates on the international market. The bookmaker is licensed in the UK and Estonia from where it offers services on several foreign markets. It offers betting products including sports betting, Esports, Virtual Sports, BetGames and online casino in select markets.
The Group provides online services via desktop and mobile websites, dedicated Android and iOS applications as well as approximately 400 retail betting shops across Poland. The Group is continuously improving its offering by, among others, providing more live bets and strengthening its leading position in the field of eSports. The bookmaker has also created its own withdrawal system – STSpay – allowing for quick transfers 24/7. The Group additionally owns Betsys – the company providing betting engine.
Thanks to effective 24/7 customer service, the Group can respond to increasing customer needs. The Company offers live broadcasts of sports events via STS TV, also available to users of mobile devices. Every month, the Company broadcasts nearly 5,000 sports events, including, among others, football, tennis, volleyball, basketball and other sports.
The Group is actively involved in supporting Polish sport, being the largest private entity on the domestic sponsorship market. The company is the official sponsor of the Polish national football team, the strategic sponsor of Lech Poznań, the main sponsor of Jagiellonia Białystok as well as the official sponsor of Cracovia, Pogoń Szczecin, Górnik Łęczna, Zagłębie Lubin, the Polish Volleyball League and other sports clubs and associations. The Group is also committed to supporting eSports.
The online channels are supplemented by c. 400 modern betting shops located in every major city in Poland which additionally increase brand recognition. The Group employs over 1,500 people.
In February 2019, the Group began operations outside of Poland – the bookmaker obtained a license in the United Kingdom and subsequently in Estonia, from where it offers services on several other markets. The Group was the first Polish bookmaker to start operations abroad. In addition, the Group is present in the Czech Republic (Betsys) and Malta. Moreover, the Group is looking at the Dutch market and is considering applying for a gambling license in that country. The Group’s focus remains on Poland, but the Group expects that its international product offering, including the online casino, will grow its contribution to the Group’s operations in the future. The Company does not rule out interest in entering new markets, as well as the commercialisation of the Betsys system in order to offer it to other bookmaking operators in Central and Eastern Europe in countries where the Group does not operate.
On December 10, 2021 shares of STS Holding debuted on the WSE. The total value of the Offering is c. PLN 1.1 billion, while the market capitalization of the Company as a result of the Final Price for the Offer Shares is c. PLN 3.6 billion. The investors acquired 46,874,998 shares, constituting c. 30% of the share capital of STS Holding S.A. The average reduction rate for subscriptions placed by Retail Investors was c. 87.2%. Mateusz Juroszek, together with his family, retains a c. 70% shareholding in the Company.