Market-leading realtime performance drives strategic expansion for FansUnite into the US iGaming market

FansUnite is a sports and entertainment company focused on technology for regulated and lawful online gaming in sports, esports, and casinos in Europe and North America. Its B2B platform provides betting brands with a complete solution to support in-play betting. Drawing on multiple data feeds, FansUnite generates betting markets linked to specific events, calculates and updates odds, and communicates them to its clients and their 200,000+ customers in realtime.

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Size:

100+ employees worldwide

Industry:

Real Money Gaming & Betting

Use case:

B2B iGaming Software

THE PROBLEM
Rapid growth demands reliable realtime message delivery at scale

FansUnite’s B2B iGaming platform relies on sophisticated engineering, with data science at its heart. The platform ingests data from multiple feed providers across a wide range of events – such as football or tennis matches – then applies machine learning to generate betting markets and related odds delivered to white label clients and their customers in realtime.

Reliable, rapid delivery of market and odds data is crucial to the end customer experience, particularly for ‘in-play’ betting, which accounts for 80% of the market in some jurisdictions. That puts enormous pressure on any realtime system – from performance and reliability to scaling. 

As CTO Jeremy Hutchings explained: “Odds can change on markets extremely quickly, and customers will make very swift decisions on bets. If odds updates don’t get through quickly or reliably enough, customers can’t place bets, or bets based on outdated odds are rejected. In an industry where customers are constantly comparing different betting brands, that would seriously harm our clients’ reputations and the authority of the platform itself. Quite simply, there is no window for dropping messages to a customer. In gambling, the world stops if it’s not realtime.”

60+ million

Messages per month

200,000+

Customers

Ably delivers all the performance and reliability we need as well as taking our compliance and encryption requirements in its stride. Its ability to deal with varying message sizes really stood out – we couldn’t find that anywhere else - and it has strengthened the scalability that is so important in setting us apart. Then there is speed to market, which was crucial to our US launch plans, and Ably has again very much delivered there.

Jeremy HutchingsCTO, FansUnite
THE SOLUTION
Realtime performance to support outstanding customer experiences at scale

With FansUnite’s reputation and growth plans at stake and at a time of rapid growth, the leadership set out to review its infrastructure provisioning. The team swiftly decided that it was unrealistic to build its own realtime messaging solution, particularly with US market entry on the horizon. Instead, they set out to find a vendor to support their exacting demands. 

A suitable vendor needs to integrate seamlessly with FansUnite’s Java environment, support a range of messaging protocols, including MQTT and AMQP, and provide crucial compliance controls and encryption capabilities. In terms of realtime performance, any solution needs to handle widely different message sizes, varying between 2-20 KiB, to guarantee latencies in line with FansUnite’s own SLAs, and to deliver the elastic scalability required to cope with big traffic spikes, such as when up to 50,000 customers come online in under a minute.

Hutchings explains: “Realtime performance regularly comes up in business development when CTOs get involved. They want to know that our infrastructure can take the heat when it matters. Massive events like the Super Bowl or the Grand National drive huge spikes in metrics like customers on site, registrations per second, and bets per second. They want to know that we can deliver an outstanding experience for their customers no matter what.”

Based on a detailed industry comparison, Hutchings identified Ably as ticking all the right boxes, confirmed by a proof-of-concept exercise before a complete migration that he rated as “incredibly simple, eight out of ten in terms of ease.”

60+ million

Messages per month

200,000+

Customers

THE RESULTS
Consistent performance and rapid time-to-market support US expansion strategy

Today, Ably plays an essential role in FansUnite’s ability to offer its clients a stable, high-performing iGaming platform and provide a consistently outstanding experience for their 200,000+ customers. Engineered for predictable performance under unpredictable conditions, Ably comfortably delivers against FansUnite’s latency target of 330ms for a half-planet trip. The Ably platform easily handles message volumes exceeding 60 million per month and scales effortlessly with no need for provisioning when large events generate surges in demand. 

Ably’s ability to deal with widely varying message sizes has also proven a real benefit, especially coupled with Delta compression to reduce data sizes and save customers bandwidth and mobile device battery life. Such a strong customer experience has given FansUnite another advantage in the highly competitive, unforgiving iGaming market. 

Meanwhile, Ably’s in-built compliance controls and industry-leading AES256 encryption help FansUnite operate on a secure footing in a highly regulated market. Responsive support and direct access to Ably engineers enable FansUnite to continue the drive to innovate its platform.

Overall, the decision to migrate to Ably has strengthened FansUnite’s readiness for continued rapid growth and supports a planned expansion into the US market, where the scope of in-play betting places ever greater emphasis on the role of realtime performance.

Hutchings concluded: “Ably delivers all the performance and reliability we need as well as taking our compliance and encryption requirements in its stride. Its ability to deal with varying message sizes really stood out – we couldn’t find that anywhere else - and it has strengthened the scalability that is so important in setting us apart. Then there is speed to market, which was crucial to our US launch plans, and Ably has again very much delivered there.”

60+ million

Messages per month

200,000+

Customers