Mark Blandford

Burlywood Capital
Partner

Mark was the founder and Director of Sportingbet Plc, an online global sportsbook and casino. He now works as a successful Venture Capital Investor. Born and educated in Hereford (UK), Mark completed a Business degree specialising in international marketing at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and worked in industrial goods, local radio and food marketing, prior to venturing into the Bookmaking Industry. Mark was the owner of a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ bookmaker’s chain for over 15 years, then recognised the potential of the Internet in the mid 90’s. Mark pursued this opportunity to its fullest. In October 1998, he launched Sportingbet.com from Alderney, which was instantly successful and was listed on OFEX in April 1999. In January 2001, the company floated on the Alternative Investment Market, part of the London Stock Exchange, raising £18m. Sportingbet operate online sports and horse race betting as well as casino and virtual games. Mark’s entrepreneurial spirit has led his company to go from strength to strength, acquiring some of the biggest names in gaming - Betmaker.com (Costa Rica), Number One Betting Shop (Australia), Sportsbook (USA) and Sporting Odds (UK) to name a few - making Sportingbet the world’s largest internet gambling group. Sportingbet has revenues exceeding £1 billion and in excess of 1.1m customers from over 150 countries worldwide. Sportingbet grew to report profits of £103m in year end July 2005. Employment peaked at around 1,000 people and market capitalisation of the company reached nearly £2billion. The company won various awards including: Mark Blandford AIM Entrepreneur of the year 2002 and Sportingbet AIM Transaction of the year 2005.  

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