It's all in the game for Smurfit
Dermot Smurfit jnr paid a flying visit to Dublin on Wednesday to fill me in on his London-based venture, GameAccount Network.
Founded in 2002, it has been through a few iterations to get to a profitable growth path. The company provides software and hardware “solutions” that support the online gaming activities of bookmakers and other eGaming operators. Its clients include our own Paddy Power.
The Smurfit family has a controlling stake in the business. Other heavyweight investors include Dermot Desmond.
Smurfit is budgeting for a €2 million “cash profit” for this year on revenue of €21 million. This is projected to rise to a profit of €5 million on revenue of €31 million next year.
“Most of this growth is already under contract,” he said. “It’s contractually signed off although we still have to deliver.”
The company initially provided a platform for gamers to play games of physical skill with each other over the web. That didn’t make money and it has since morphed into a business-to-business model.
One-third of the staff were let go in 2006 but the company is firmly in growth mode again and seeking to hire software developers. Its value is now approaching €100 million, according to Smurfit. “I can see the path that will take us to being a €200 million to a €300 million company. It’s not for the faint-hearted but we’re in a good place right now.”