Tuesday 23 October 2018

Smurfit Jr’s Gan appoints new CFO as it looks to expand in the US

Dermot Smurfit Jr, the CEO of gaming software company Gan
Dermot Smurfit Jr, the CEO of gaming software company Gan
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Gan, the gaming software company headed by Dermot Smurfit Jr, has appointed Richard Santiago as its chief financial officer.

Mr Santiago will join Gan next month from EatStreet, a US internet-based food delivery service company.

According to a statement from Dublin-listed Gan, Mr Santiago brings "substantial" operational and strategic financial expertise to Gan, derived from a wide range of US-based internet companies.

Commenting on the appointment, Dermot Smurfit Jr said that Mr Santiago’s "proven experience in fast-growing companies in diverse US internet industries, combined with excellent operational capabilities will provide Gan's leadership team with substantial incremental bench strength as we continue to deliver on our US-facing growth strategy."

Mr Santiago, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, has worked in the role of chief financial officer, or other similar financial roles, at a number of US consumer internet businesses, including EatStreet and internet gaming businesses Activision Blizzard and Riot Games, the award-winning eSports video game developer and publisher of 'League of Legends'.

"Gan sits within the intriguing intersection between the overlapping industries of online video games and gaming/gambling with their intriguing simulated gaming offering an exciting entertainment experience designed specifically for casino patrons of America," Mr Santiago said.

“US regulation of real money internet gaming and, potentially, internet sports betting also appears to be gaining momentum which positions Gan for rapid growth which I have substantial strategic financial experience in helping Dermot and the existing leadership team manage."

Earlier this week Gan announced that it had raised £7.5m (€8.6m).

The funds have been raised on the back of a US Supreme Court ruling that last week struck down a federal law severely restricting sports betting.

The ruling is expected to lead to a liberalisation of US betting laws.

Gan said that it would use the funds - which were raised through a share issue - to "substantially" increase its engineering resources to better serve US clients' services, seek new US clients and launch new services there in anticipation of the more widespread internet sports betting.

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