Meet The Team: Q&A Session with the CEO Francesco Borgosano

January 18, 2024

Meet The Team: Q&A Session with the CEO Francesco Borgosano

Welcome to the launch of our exciting new blog series, "Meet the Team"!

We embark on a journey behind the scenes of Huddle, shining a spotlight on the incredible individuals who form the backbone of the company. Starting things off is Francesco Borgosano, Huddle CEO.

Join us as we uncover the dynamic landscape of leadership and innovation as Francesco Borgosano shares his professional journey and the narrative that defines Huddle.

What specific gaps or challenges within the sports betting industry did you identify that led to the inception of Huddle? How did recognizing these gaps inspire the development of Huddle focused on providing odds feeds to sportsbook operators?

Francesco: I spent my entire professional career in the Sports Betting Industry having worked for leading B2C Operators and B2B providers. And, I had first-hand experience with the widening gap between technology solutions and product demands in the Industry, which has been further highlighted by the repeal of PASPA and the expansion of the regulated market. With the increasing demand for product differentiation and localization in the Industry, there's a need for advanced technology to enable innovation and facilitate product delivery and integration of third parties. When we started Huddle we identified a gap in product offering around US Sports and we focused on that as an entry product in the marketplace with a strong focus on data automation and cost optimization.

How would you describe Huddle's journey so far from its inception? What was the significance/impact of the old Huddle pre merger that brought the architecture of B2B business and Deck Prism that brought the heritage of pricing and trading of US Sports?

Francesco: The merger with DeckPrism accelerated our product development significantly. Huddle at that point had built a cloud-native data infrastructure with a focus on scalability and extensibility, combined with a set of algorithms focused on trading automation. Deck Prism had developed algorithms focused on being able to set opening lines and keeping markets open with pricing accuracy for books that welcomed sharp bettors. The two systems were therefore incredibly complementary and by leveraging Huddle’s infrastructure, we can complement those odds with more recreational propositions and deliver a full suite of products in a more scalable way. Today that allows Huddle to provide best-in-class trading operations combined with industry-leading product offerings.

Can you share some highlights from your entrepreneurial journey that shaped your approach to founding and leading Huddle?

Francesco: As a first-time founder of a software development company, several highlights and experiences shaped my approach to leading Huddle. Early on, I realized the significance of having a team with diverse skills and perspectives. I am very grateful for my co-founders who in many ways complement my skills and personality and for the talented team we have assembled. Our employees share the Company’s vision and values and make things happen with their commitment and hard work. Like many startups, Huddle faced several challenges in its journey. Overcoming these hurdles taught me resilience and the importance of agility in business. And, it shaped my approach to problem-solving and risk management. Specifically in the Sports Betting Industry, I learned the importance of networking and building strategic partnerships. Collaborations with other companies and industry experts opened new opportunities and provided insights that were crucial for growth. Lastly, on a more personal note, as a founder the blurring lines between personal and professional life were challenging. This experience taught me the importance of work-life balance, not just for myself but also for my team, leading to a healthier, more productive work environment. 

Can you share some of the key challenges you faced as the CEO in the early stages of Huddle, and how did you overcome them?

Francesco: The early stages of Huddle presented several key challenges, each of which required strategic thinking and adaptability to overcome. To name a few:
Building the Right Team: After securing the funding, the first challenge was assembling a team that not only possessed the necessary technical skills but also shared our vision and culture. To address this, we invested substantial time in the hiring process, looking for candidates with the right blend of expertise, creativity, and passion. We also established a culture that valued continuous learning and innovation, which helped attract like-minded individuals.
Product Development and Market Fit: Developing a product that met market needs while staying true to our innovative vision was a delicate balance. We faced technical hurdles, feature prioritization issues, and the need for rapid iterations based on feedback. Overcoming these challenges involved fostering a culture of open communication and collaboration within our team, and maintaining a customer-centric approach to ensure our product aligned with market demands.
Product Adoption: Introducing our product into an industry historically reluctant to innovation was particularly challenging due to resistance to change and the established processes of potential clients. To overcome this, we focused on building a deep understanding of the industry's pain points and tailored our solutions to address these specifically.

What personally motivated you to establish Huddle, and how has that motivation evolved over the course of building the company?

Francesco: My motivation for establishing Huddle stemmed from an ambitious vision to innovate in the Sports Betting Industry driven by first-hand experience of the technical challenges limiting the Operators in the space.  I recognized that pursuing this vision within the constraints of an established company, burdened by legacy technology and complex decision-making processes, would be highly challenging, if possible at all. This realization was the catalyst for creating Huddle, where cutting-edge ideas could flourish without the hindrances of traditional corporate structures.

As Huddle has grown and evolved, so too has my motivation. Seeing clients quickly adopt our software solutions provided a tangible affirmation that we were on the right track. It wasn't just about creating something new; it was about creating something that resonated with the market and fulfilled a real need. This early success bolstered our belief in our vision and approach.

You are very involved in the product development processes at Huddle. 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?

Francesco: In our recent product launches at Huddle, we've introduced several innovations and upgrades specifically tailored to the evolving needs of the sports betting industry. The focus has been on two key areas: automation for operational efficiency and enhanced customizability.

Focus on automation: Recognizing the dynamic and fast-paced nature of the sports betting industry, we've integrated advanced automation tools into our products. This way we significantly reduce the manual workload, allowing our clients to focus on more strategic aspects of their business. This efficiency translates into lower operational costs, making our product an economically attractive option for our clients.

Customizability of the Product. We understand that each client has unique needs and challenges. Hence, we've emphasized the customizability of our products. Our clients can tailor various aspects of our software to fit their specific requirements, whether it's, offering, risk strategy, or integration patterns

Last but not least, how does Huddle approach collaboration and partnerships within the industry, and how do you see these relationships evolving in the future?

Francesco: Huddle's approach to collaboration and partnerships within the industry is rooted in a philosophy of mutual growth and innovation. We recognize that in a complex landscape such as the Sports Betting industry, building strong relationships is crucial.

We actively seek partnerships with other companies and organizations that align with our vision and values. This includes data providers, and other technology companies, where a partnership can lead to a win-win situation. Our goal is to create synergies that enhance our product offerings and provide more value to our customers. Our development and prioritization are heavily impacted by the needs and feedback of our customers. We proactively collaborate with our customers and potential leads which can help us better understand specific challenges and pain points.

Stay tuned for exciting journey with our "Meet the Team" series, where we turn the spotlight on the exceptional individuals here at Huddle. This series offers an insider's perspective on the innovation and collaboration that define our workplace.