Meet The Team: Q&A Session with Huddle CTO, Bozo Kekez

March 6, 2024

Meet The Team: Q&A Session with Huddle CTO, Bozo Kekez

In this edition, we're thrilled to introduce Bozo Kekez, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Huddle. Bozo brings a wealth of experience and a passion for technology to the table, shaping the company's technological advancements and product roadmap. Join us as we dive into Bozo's journey, his vision for Huddle's future, and the exciting developments on the horizon.

Could you share with us your professional journey before joining Huddle? What were some key roles or experiences that shaped your career in the sports betting industry?

Back in 2011, my journey in the gaming industry kicked off with a pivotal move to Romania alongside my family to work at Superbet. At that time, Superbet was just laying the foundation for its retail network. I was part of the pioneering team tasked with crafting an in-house sportsbook platform and Superbet in Romania very quickly became the market leader in both retail and online and began international expansion.

By 2018, the core tech team at Superbet, under my leadership, embarked on an exciting new chapter with the launch of Leapbit. We engineered a cutting-edge retail and online sportsbook, incorporating features for lottery betting and virtual games. Our hard work paid off quickly, and by 2022, Leapbit was thriving, serving many clients. It was a big year because EveryMatrix saw the potential and bought the company, opening up a new chapter for us.

Having previously teamed up with Mario and Leo, I was there right from the start of the Huddle journey. Their idea instantly resonated with me, prompting my decision to invest in the seed round. After the success of Leapbit and taking some time off, the choice to join the Huddle team was a no-brainer for me. With familiar faces and a promising venture ahead, I was eager to jump back into action and contribute to their vision.

As an entrepreneur yourself, what valuable lessons did you learn from building and running your own ventures in the sports betting industry?

I would say that the most important lesson I learned is that for personal development as an entrepreneur and leader, it is extremely important to constantly push yourself outside of your comfort zone. As the team grows, it is extremely important to recognize and encourage all individuals who show leadership potential, otherwise it will be impossible to scale the team.

As a leader, it's essential to lead by example and demonstrate a willingness to embrace challenges and push beyond comfort zones. By showcasing a growth mindset and resilience in the face of adversity, we inspire others to do the same, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and collective success.

What inspired you to pursue a career in technology, and how did your early experiences contribute to your growth in the field?

My journey into the world of computers and programming began way back in elementary school when I first laid hands on a computer. It was like discovering a whole new world, and diving into programming with BASIC felt like unlocking a secret code. From that moment, I knew deep down inside that this was the path I wanted to tread.

While my days of hardcore coding may have dwindled a bit since then, my passion for technology remains as vibrant as ever.  Even though I don't code as much these days, I try to keep up with modern tech stacks and all my previous experience as a developer allows me to actively participate with product and development teams in shaping and delivering our product. 

Can you share any recent technological advancements or initiatives at Huddle that you're particularly excited about?
Following the merger of Huddle with Deck Prism in 2022, we faced a significant challenge: bringing the two platforms seamlessly toghether. It was a task that required careful planning, meticulous execution, and innovation. Fast forward to today, and I'm thrilled to report that we're steadily nearing the finish line in this endeavor.  I am happy that we are slowly bringing this process to an end, and soon all the best components of both systems will be available in the unique HuddleOS platform.

For us, this milestone isn't just about merging platforms; it's about unlocking the full potential of Huddle and laying the groundwork for its long-term success. By harnessing the strengths of both systems, we're paving the way for a platform that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of our users. It was a key milestone for us as we can now fully commit to the Huddle long-term vision.

What specific innovations or upgrades are introduced with the recent product launches, and how do they address the evolving needs of the sports betting industry?

Although the entire HuddleOS architecture is a kind of innovation in itself, I would still single out our SGP product, which is definitely something unique on the market and will surely be a game-changer in our industry.

I truly believe our SGP has all the capabilities to be the best in the market, given its unique set of features (100% market combination, pre-match and in-play, void/push legs SGP re-calculation, 100% cashout availability) and technical architecture behind it.

In an industry as challenging as sports betting, it’s by having products such as Huddle’s SGP that operators will be able to differentiate themselves and be able to entice the most product-centric customers.

You are spearheading all the technological advancements in Huddle, and that requires synergy between Huddle's product design, quants, backend engineering, and data engineering teams. How do you approach leadership and communication within the teams while navigating them towards a common goal?

As the team grows, it is very important to recognize individuals who can and want to take on more responsibility and build new teams around or under them. Huddle is an organization with many talented people and it is important to constantly listen to them because ultimately they bring solutions. A big part of communication is listening and understanding others.

Looking ahead, what are your long-term goals and aspirations for Huddle's product/technology roadmap, and how do you plan to achieve them?
Looking ahead, my long-term goals and aspirations for Huddle's product and technology roadmap are deeply rooted in our vision for growth, innovation, and excellence. As we chart our course for the future, two key priorities stand out: scaling our engineering team effectively and advancing our journey towards becoming a data-driven company.

In pursuit of these long-term goals, collaboration will be key. By fostering cross-functional partnerships and aligning our efforts across engineering, product development, data analytics, and beyond, we'll maximize our collective impact and propel Huddle towards new heights of success.