Israel-based XLMedia seeks to raise $40M in gaming float

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Mar 03, 2014 04:40 PM EST

Digital media firm XLMedia intends to secure as much as $40 million in a London listing, the Financial Times reported.

The planned float of the Israeli firm, which works to bring traffic for online gaming firms using its own network composed of thousands of websites, will serve to measure the interest of investors in the rapidly growing but highly unstable internet gaming industry, the report said.

The Telegraph report on the matter said that the firm who has as its Chairman former Ladbrokes Chief Executive Officer Christopher Bell, has asked Cenkos Securities to head the listing. Fundraising is ongoing. Israeli tech entrepreneur Ory Weihs began the business in 2003 which ultimately became XL through various consolidations. Weihs is the Chief Executive Officer of the company and own, together with co-founders, 24.1% of the firm before the stock market flotation, the report said.

Aside from using its own network of sites to produce online traffic for gambling platforms, XLMedia also purchases ads on Facebook and other social media sites. A small portion can also be found on adult-only and file-sharing sites. The revenues of XLMedia went up to $26.1 million in 2012 from $11.2 million in 2010, FT reported.

A gambling analyst who was not part of XLMedia's float told FT website referrals are an integral part of getting gambling clients on board their platform because of the fierce rivalry in the business, "There are an almost infinite number of online [gaming] brand names. If you hope people will come to you through natural search, it will be a lonely website. You either have to pay for it, or optimise."

Regulation has played a role in the mixed performance of internet gambling firms in the public markets. Former FTSE 100 online poker group PartyGaming was an example. Most of its revenues were erased after regulators went after online poker in the US, FT reported.  

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