Cola Group explains expansion strategy

Following their recent investment announcement,’s Chief Marketing Officer Dana Varnytska talked to GIO about what’s coming for the company in Africa and beyond…

Gaming International Online: Now that the Nigerian license has been granted, what are the next steps for and where will the investment be utilised? Dana Varnytska: Nigeria is an integral market in Africa given the country’s leading economic position and the passion for betting. The country is second to South Africa as the largest sports betting market across the continent and is more populated.

The license granted by the Lagos State Lotteries Board allows, under a locally incorporated, subsidiary company, to expand into the region by delivering its modern, mobile-first and intuitive technology services. Plans are underway to set-up an office, hire a wave of employees and establish a foothold in the country. These foundations provide the perfect launchpad for the marketing arm of the business to engage with players thanks to an in-depth analysis of local nuances, behavioral traits, and deep understanding of audience needs. A considerable portion of the investment will activate marketing strategies and expand the retail network in key target areas. Funding has also been ring fenced for ongoing software development and securing additional African licenses in regulated markets.


After securing a fourth gambling license for Africa in Nigeria, Cola Group announced its intention to invest $14.5m to enable expansion of its iGaming arm. The company also holds licenses for Zambia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.


The latest sports betting license was granted by the Lagos State Lotteries Board to a locally- incorporated subsidiary company, Cola Games Limited. The Nigerian market is similar to Ethiopia’s in that both are retail-centric rather than internet based. It was a strategic move for to leverage its blueprint and successes in Ethiopia to expand into Nigeria.

Chief Marketing Officer Dana Varnytska explains what’s next for the company following their exciting news…

ollowing their recent investment announcement,’s Chief Marketing Officer Dana Varnytska talked to GIO about what’s coming for the company in Africa and

GIO: Why did target the regulated African iGaming market for its initial launch? DV: Africa is a dynamic market that offers rich rewards to those who deliver a localised strategy that can capitalise on a deep passion for sports, with football leading the charge. To make a success of the region it is vital not to make the mistake of labelling Africa’s countries as one entity, each country has its own traits and individual markers, yet football is the common language.

Football has been the catalyst for developing our marketing strategy to provide a high-quality user experience for customers and give Nigerians the opportunity to earn from what they love. Internet access and speed is improving all the time to make Africa a region of huge potential. This shift forms a fertile space to introduce a mobile-first and intuitive platform that provides an exceptional player experience.

Many African markets are nascent and that represents major growth opportunities. This coupled with the fact that the barriers to entry in

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