Entain to invest £100m in new Ennovate global innovation hub

31st January 2022 10:40 am GMT

London-listed betting and gaming operator Entain will invest up to £100m to launch a new global innovation hub, Ennovate, which aims to deliver new experiences to customers.

Ennovate will invest up to £100m in innovation projects, start-up investments and collaborations with UK, European and global partners, with £40m specifically earmarked for innovation investment in the UK.

Verizon, BT, and Theta Labs will be the first technology companies to work with Ennovate, and will look to develop ground-breaking experiences for customers in gaming and interactive entertainment.  Not-for-profit organisations are also collaborating with Ennovate, using technology for innovations which bring societal and environmental benefit.

All partners will collaborate with Entain’s in-house tech team and use the Ennovate Hub to conceive, develop, experiment, and bring their innovations to life.

“We want to lead the way with new, exciting products and experiences for customers and use our cutting-edge technology to pioneer innovations in sport, gaming and interactive entertainment for the metaverse,” said Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen. “We also want to use our position as a global technology leader to help drive innovation more widely.

“Working with partners around the globe, Ennovate will demonstrate how Entain’s industry-leading technology can both revolutionise experiences for consumers and deliver real benefits to society.”

Ennovate’s first dedicated innovation lab will be located in London at Charterhouse Square in Farringdon this spring and will host members of Entain’s innovation technology team, working alongside commercial and not-for-profit partners.

The centrepiece of this and future Ennovate labs will be an Experience Zone, enabling customers, investors, partners and employees to try out new immersive experiences in sport, gaming and interactive entertainment.

“Our goal is to bring the most exciting experiences in immersive sport, gaming and interactive entertainment to life as the metaverse takes shape,” said Entain chief operating officer Sandeep Tiku. “Working with partners we believe we can achieve great things faster, both for customers and to apply these technologies and skills to benefit wider society.”

Among the new consumer products that Ennovate will initially showcase are non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or unique digital collectible assets, which Entain is developing for brands across the group.

Partypoker is today announcing plans to launch its first official NFTs, powered by Theta Labs, which will showcase some of the most iconic video moments and tournament hands in the history of partypoker and partypoker LIVE.

Entain will also be making immersive experiences available to customers on the high street, converting two locations into new VR retail experience zones where consumers will soon be able to try out ground-breaking new experiences in immersive sports and interactive entertainment for themselves.

Entain is working on innovations for VR in retail and plans to open its first VR arcades later in the year.

Shares in Entain plc (LSE:ENT) were trading marginally lower at 1,571.50 pence per share in London Monday morning.

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