Levon Nikoghosyan talks to CasinoRIX about AffPapa, iGaming Club and insights on successful Affiliate Management
Welcome to CasinoRIX’s exclusive interview with Levon Nikoghosyan, a dynamic 29-year-old entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in the iGaming industry. As the acting CEO of AffPapa and an investor in various small affiliate projects, Levon brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. With a background in building affiliate systems for the iGaming sector and a deep understanding of the gambling affiliate vertical, he has been honored to moderate and speak at numerous industry events, conferences, and panels. Join us as we delve into his insights and experiences in this ever-evolving landscape.
Q: Hello Levon! Over the past 2 years, the AffPapa project has become quite popular. Tell us, how did it all start, and where did the idea come from? What position do you hold?
A: Well, first of all, thanks for the recognition, it’s a pleasure to hear. The idea was born with a few industry friends of mine when we realized there is no platform/directory where affiliates and operators could hang out, find each other easily, and communicate directly. There are some forums dedicated to iGaming affiliates, however, the purpose of those forums is not exactly finding partners. Also, there are many networks through which affiliates and operators can cooperate, but of course not without middleman fees. Thus, we decided there was a gap that had to be filled and started the AffPapa project
Q: It’s very interesting to learn about your professional journey, where you started, and how you developed in the iGaming industry.
A: I started my professional journey as a developer. My first business was an e-commerce website for the Armenian market where I was selling wristwatches. Since the business was not very stable and some months could go by without a single order, I got a full-time job as a developer at a startup iGaming B2B company. The company was growing rapidly and soon I became the team leader of its affiliate department. At the beginning of 2015, I quit this company and was actively seeking an investment to establish a B2B company that could deliver the best affiliate and agent systems for the industry. It happened quickly. The company that agreed to invest in a new team from Armenia was EveryMatrix. They agreed to establish a new office in Yerevan and with my old colleagues, we founded PartnerMatrix in our homeland.
Q: Initially, AffPapa was like a portal for connecting Operators and Affiliates. Were there any plans to organize your own events from the very beginning?
A: Not really, we started the iGaming Club spontaneously. We felt the demand from our affiliates and operators to host some gatherings for them, hence we came up with this concept for the first time in 2022. It took off better than expected and since then we have been systematically organizing satellite networking events around major conferences and exhibitions.
Q: Are AffPapa and iGaming Club one business? Or are the teams and resources separate?
A: iGaming Club is under the AffPapa umbrella and has happened as a result of the stunning success of AffPapa. The very first events were conducted by the same team, however, at the moment we are in the stage of dividing the company into business units. As you may know, we have other projects like TheGamblest and AffPapa’s Affiliate Management Services which are also led by separate teams. Within the next couple of months, iGaming Club will be managed by a dedicated team.
Q: I know that you plan to organize a conference in Spain in the summer of 2024. Please tell us more about it.
A: Yes, and we are very excited about it. As I already mentioned – demand creates supply, and after a successful 2023, we realized we must come up with a dedicated event for iGaming Club members. 2 days of intensive networking, AffPapa iGaming Awards, speed-dating sessions, industry-leading speakers, an exhibition area, and much more.
We had a tough call choosing between Malaga and Marbella, which were two of the most voted locations in the survey of iGaming Club members. Eventually, we went with Malaga due to a couple of logistical reasons – it has an airport with over 130 direct flights to and from Europe, better infrastructure, and more options for entertainment with local vibes.
We are expecting over 800 guests from across the world, with the majority being from Europe. I’m confident that our Club Members will have their expectations surpassed.
P.S. Kicking off the year in London with an exclusive iGaming Club VIP dinner which will be held as part of ICE London on February 6th!
Q: Let’s briefly talk about AffPapa’s Affiliate Management Service. What does it offer to its clients?
A: Our Affiliate Management Service is pretty self-explanatory, as it offers iGaming operators the ability to offload their affiliate management efforts to our team of highly-trained and experienced managers. We utilize the breadth of our directory, which now has more than 1500 top affiliates, to provide our varied client base with a set of standout growth opportunities.
We offer three tiers for prospecting clients, with the starting one being the Affiliate Seeker, which can provide partners with a glimpse of our capabilities at an affordable price. Our first tier is also quite suitable for operators that already have established affiliate management teams but want to expand their affiliate networks at pace, while our upper tiers can provide clients with a set of much more fully-featured services.
Q: A few personal questions: do you play casino games yourself? If so, what’s your biggest win and your favorite type of game?
A: I’m more of a sportsbook guy, I can occasionally bet on football matches that I’m planning to watch either on TV or in the stadium. My largest win was probably around $1,500 which was the result of an experiment in incremental betting. On average, I don’t bet more than €100, even for fun.
Q: You combine a lot of travels with work – tell us about your standard work schedule, hobbies, and how you spend your weekends.
A; My day starts at 6 am with a morning run, some exercise, and a cold shower, after which I dive into my job. I start my day early in order to catch up with my colleagues from Armenia. I dedicate most of my free time to reading. Of course, it is hard to keep up with the ideal routine, however, one must try hard to follow good habits.
Q: Final question: I know you’re originally from Armenia – is it true that your cognac is the best in the world? 🙂
A: Feel free to stop by one of our stands at iGaming shows and you will have a chance to taste it yourself! 😉
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