Malta might be small but it is making great strides in the online gaming and start-up scene.
Online gaming is well established in Malta. Giants of the industry such as Betsson, Betfair and Tipico have chosen Malta as their home. According to Red Herring, online gaming comprises 12% of the Maltese economy, generating €700 million ($826m) and employing 8,000 people.
The startup community in Malta is fast becoming the most interesting in Europe. Valery Bollier and Benjamin Carlotti launched Silicon Valletta, in 2016. Silicon Valletta is a non-profit organisation whose primary aim is to create awareness for Malta’s tech scene.
Sherpa is proud to be part of this association. Sherpa’s Head of Product, Simon Azzopardi is the President of Silicon Valletta.
Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the many benefits Malta is providing to set up shop here. A digitally-savvy government, business-friendly tax regulations, English as an official language, great broadband networks, 300 days of sunshine and a stable banking system are amongst the benefits Red Herring’s article explores.
This stable banking system is a double-edged sword. Raising capital is a challenge and Malta’s investors tend to spend their money on mainland Europe.
According to Simon, Sherpa’s Head of Product:
“Startups need to work harder for capital, which means that those tech startups that raise capital tend to be of a certain caliber.”
Red Herring lists Sherpa, GFI and Heatmap as tech startup success stories. Martin Leonard, founder of Startup Malta states that although capital for new VC firms is coming from outside Malta, the situation is changing. Malta is increasingly being seen as a promising opportunity.
According to Alberto Pelliccione, CEO of ReaQta, Malta is a great place to setup, however, scaling up is best done in other tech hubs where funding and talent are more readily available.
In fact a shortage of talent is a problem for most companies based in Malta, however, Bollier is confident that Malta has a strong potential to attract the right talent. Simon goes on to add that this is not just a Maltese problem but a European issue too.Malta is definitely forging the way ahead. A strong local tech community is being established.
A stable iGaming industry; NGOs such as Silicon Valley and Startup Malta; the establishment of a Maltese iGaming Academy, the European Gaming Institute of Malta, and an iGaming-focused course at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology; a digitally-committed government means that the future for the startup industry in Malta is looking great.
Read Red Herring’s full article featuring Sherpa and Silicon Valletta here.