QuickThink Media Ltd

What Happened to QuickThink Media Ltd

Established in 2008 by David Hampstead, Tom Gooding, and Simon Smiley, QuickThink Media was a partnership between UK gaming and IT specialists that aimed to work closely with online bingo and gaming operators to drive customer acquisitions.

David Hampstead was operations director and their Flash platform expert (this was way before HTML5) with experience creating online bingo software; Tom Gooding was the technical director with a lot of experience working with blue chip companies; and Simon Smiley was the commercial director, coming from a background in real world bingo before moving online.

It wasn’t long before they were creating their own products and websites though, and in 2010 they also set up their own social game development business, BeJig Limited, later renamed to Blastworks Limited.

While technically a separate company, the same 3 men were behind it, and BeJig would work side by side with QuickThink Media.

The company’s strength was their ability to utilise social media platforms like Facebook in order to advertise and generate business for themselves and their clients, and with their shared experience in the bingo sector, this was where they focussed their efforts.

They created various online products, but arguably their biggest winner, was the FreeBingoHunter site, which attracted 200,000 page views per month.

Sold to Gaming Realms in 2013

Gaming Realms QuickThink MediaGaming Realms had a funny old start.

The company was originally founded in 2001 as Pursuit Dynamics, a research and development company that worked to develop and commercialise a revolutionary underwater pumping product.

However, after running into difficulties, the business changed tact completely and went into online bingo, and more specifically, Slingo.

Technically, the original Gaming Realms had already been set up by its founders in 2011 in order to launch Bingo Godz, a new online bingo platform, but the site hadn’t even soft launched at the point that Pursuit Dynamics came along, so it was very early days.

Pursuit Dynamics bought Gaming Realms and a slot developer/casino operator called AlchemyBet in August of 2013. However, they also bought BeJig for a reported £3 million+, which, as we know, was founded by the guys behind QuickThink Media.

The group was given the collective name Gaming Realms (goodbye Pursuit Dynamics), the original Gaming Realms business was renamed Bingo Realms, and the other two companies were kept as they were, although BeJig was renamed Blastworks shortly after.

Why is this relevant to QuickThink Media?

Well, the original Gaming Realms had been working with QuickThink Media as their marketing partner since they launched the company in 2011, so when Pursuit Dynamics bought Gaming Realms in 2013 and wanted to improve their marketing capabilities, guess which company was recommended to them?

That’s right, QuickThink Media.

Instead of working with them, the Gaming Realms group decided to buy the company out and essentially make the QuickThink Media employees their own marketing department. This deal went through in December of 2013, costing just over £2.2 million.

In their own annual statement, Gaming Realms said:

“QuickThink Media Limited is a specialist online gaming marketing agency which will enhance the Group’s activities by cost-effectively capturing new users across emerging digital channels such as Facebook.”

Now, the entirety of QuickThink Media was housed under the Gaming Realms umbrella in one way or another.

It was in June of 2014 that they launched their own affiliate programme, QuickThink Affiliates, to bring all of their brands (including those from AlchemyBet) under the same operating structure and make things easier for themselves and their advertising partners.

There was also a minor rebrand, with the company changing their name simply to QuickThink.

Despite the new ownership, QuickThink were still allowed to sell their services to other companies, and indeed, many of their clients were from the online gambling and bingo sectors.

The likes of PaddyPower, Tombola, and obviously Gaming Realms themselves used QuickThink’s services in the following years, with the charity sector being their other main area of business.

After a few years doing very well indeed by all accounts (they managed to get one client from zero income to over £1 million in a year using targeted Facebook ads), QuickThink was targeted by another marketing agency, Ayima.

Sold to Ayima in 2016

Ayima QuickThink MediaAyima was another marketing company that had started out in 2007, just a year before QuickThink Media.

They had plenty of experience in the online gambling industry having worked with the likes of Gala, Foxy Bingo, Betfair and even Gaming Realms, though O2 Telefonica and Aviva were also big clients. Their first ever client though, was Pokerstars, so the gambling industry was a large part of their business.

Their interest in QuickThink was down to the expertise in social media advertising, which was not Amiya’s forte. By bringing QuickThink on board, Amiya could not only take their clients and their expertise, but also exploit their relationships with online advertising platforms, enabling them to offer a full service to their clients without needing help from third parties.

When the deal went through in 2016, QuickThink’s key staff were ported across to Ayima, and since the two companies had already been working together for a number of years, the relationships were well established and the transition was smooth.

Interestingly, the company was not sold for cash, but for a 6.6% interest in the Ayima Group, so Gaming Realms is now a shareholder in Ayima and therefore, technically, still owns a very small proportion of QuickThink.

Although QuickThink Media is still technically a company in the UK, for all intents and purposes it has been folded into Ayima and swallowed up as part of their wider business.

That is to say that many of QuickThink Media’s employees are probably still doing the same jobs they were doing before, but via Ayima rather than QuickThink.

River iGaming Acquisition in 2020

River iGaming QuickThink MediaThe last piece of this puzzle is River iGaming.

It’s true that QuickThink are still a part of Ayima, but their affiliate program, QuickThink Affiliates, remained with Gaming Realms after the 2016 sale of the marketing side of things.

Gaming Realms held all of their B2C operations (so casino and bingo brands) under a company with its’ own proprietary casino platform called Bear Group, and in February of 2019, Bear Group was sold to River Games for £11.5 million.

At this point, all sites and affiliates were switched over to River’s own affiliate program, and QuickThink Affiliates was closed down.

Just 9 months later in December, after a strategic review, River iGaming decided to suspend all of its B2C operations. Instead of operating gaming brands, they would focus solely on working as a SaaS (software as a service) B2B company.

They hired the services of a company called Akur to divest their B2C assets, and this will have included any bingo or casino sites they were operating at the time.

Some of those that are still online are now operating under the license of the Broadway Gaming Group (the guys who took all of 888’s bingo brands), others are with Jumpman and Skill on Net, so it can be assumed these companies bought the sites they wanted and also transferred over all of the affiliates.

Incredibly, some of those brands still in operation were those first promoted by QuickThink Media back in 2009 and 2010. They have been through numerous different owners now, and have probably changed beyond recognition, but they were all given their start by the team at QuickThink Media.