Vault Expands from B2C to B2B
The popular bet tracking app executes a pivot, and is now offering its services to other product developers in the space
Earlier this year, Caleb Dykema, the co-founder of bet tracking app Vault, joined The Betting Startups Podcast to talk about his vision to become “the Mint for sports betting”.
A fine vision to be sure, and the early traction of the Vault app seemed to validate that.
The robust feature set provided users a unified view of their betting activity across sportsbooks, along with a host of features to help bettors get deeper insights and improve their betting performance.
But after going to market as a consumer product, Vault discovered what many other businesses eventually do: the bigger opportunity lies with selling the underlying technology to other companies. And thus, Vault executed the much fabled pivot.
Betting Startups News caught up with Caleb to learn more about the move, the lessons learned along the way, and what comes next.
Hey Caleb! What's the quick update on the Vault business since you were on The Betting Startups Podcast?
Since April, the biggest change has been the shift into the B2B space! We did this for a couple of reasons.
First off, we realized that our technology was a better fit for helping other companies in the sports betting industry. Plus, with our team's collective 30+ years of experience in the sports betting affiliate space, we're better equipped to provide support to fellow businesses.
Describe the pivot from B2C to B2B, and what Vault is now offering to the market
Initially, this seemed like a daunting pivot, but we quickly learned we were already teed up for the change.
Much of our early growth in the consumer market was thanks to influencer marketing, and this helped us establish a robust network of individuals skilled in driving growth for us. When we introduced our Influencer Network solution, it was a natural progression for us to open up this network to other companies, enabling them to boost their brand through influencers.
Another one of our solutions provides access to lightweight alternative for scores, odds, and odds boosts data endpoints. We had initially developed many of these in-house, primarily because of the industry's steep data costs. Now, we're extending the same data access to other companies.
Finally, with our mobile app, we are pursuing white label opportunities where the Vault Sports app technology can live on in other brands.
What are some use cases for the B2B offering, and what type of customer(s) does it appeal to?
Our influencer network is a perfect fit for consumer sports betting brands (sportsbook or affiliates) who are aiming to expand their reach to a highly targeted and active audience of sports bettors. Our network currently reaches over 750k bettors, and that number is quickly growing!
Our Scores and Odds endpoints are great for startups and companies who are looking for a more cost-effective data solution, while our Odds Boost endpoint is for brands looking to engage their audience with offers across multiple books.
And finally, our white labeled bet tracking tech is primarily for affiliate brands looking to offer their audience a tool to track their bets, follow their stats, and find the best odds, all while driving more affiliate traffic through personalized promos.
How did you know that it was time to pivot? Talk about the internal decision-making process.
It was a whole slew of things that began shifting our minds towards pivoting, but the main signals were from when we had difficulty raising additional funding, when one of our early B2B offerings started taking off, and when we began receiving interested from other brands in white labeling our tech.
What are your major lessons or takeaways from trying to build a B2C product and business?
What we learned the hard way: B2C can be capital-intensive, especially in an industry as competitive as the one we're in.
Look to monetize your userbase as soon as possible, even if it's not going to be your primary or final revenue stream, and/or raising capital are often the paths that need to be taken. Choose one or both, and go all in.
What we learned the easy way: One area that we crushed was customer discovery.
I came into this industry having never placed a sports bet in my life, while others around me came in solving a consumer problem they themselves faced. My lack of knowledge of the average US sports bettor turned out to be a blessing because it forced me into constantly having to talk to our customers, pushing out surveys, and even getting on zoom calls with them.
Still to this day I see consumer companies in this space creating products that aren't wanted, or are just features rather than products, simply because they haven't rolled their sleeves up and talked to the end user.
Whether B2C or B2B, at the end of the day your North Star shouldn't be what you, your advisors, or your lead investor's want. It should be what your customer needs... and you can't find that out sitting behind your laptop.
What can we expect to see from Vault in the months ahead?
We've already pushed into several areas where we're helping other companies in this space, and we're just getting started! In the next 3-6 months, you can expect us to fine-tune our existing product offerings, while also exploring fresh avenues for innovation where we identify new opportunities.