We often hear about youthful founders who turn dorm room dreams into startup success. But research shows most successful founders are actually in their 40s or beyond, leveraging decades of industry know-how to build and sell their companies.
For nearly 15 years, Doug Fallon worked in the gaming industry, primarily designing “land-based” slot games, the physical one-armed bandits that are casino staples, he said in an interview with Bragg Studios. Armed with this deep industry experience and in partnership with his wife Roxane Fallon, a computer programmer and entrepreneur, Fallon launched Wild Streak Gaming in Las Vegas in 2016.
The company experienced some early failures in applying their expertise to the arena of online games.
“The online player in other countries is different from the land-based player in the US. It was a learning curve of tweaking the games to appeal to the online player,” Roxane Fallon told They Got Acquired.
The Fallons learned from their mistakes, and the company grew without any outside funding. “We were newcomers in online gaming, but with persistence, we were able to work our way in,” she continued.
How Wild Streak Gaming sold to Gragg Gaming Group
By 2016, they’d grown the company to 14 employees, selling to six land-based and seven online gaming clients, according to Roxane Fallon. Annual revenue crossed the $1 million mark by 2020 (with $233,000 of EBITDA), and Q1 revenue in 2021 was $487,000 (with $241,000 of EBITDA), according to Seeking Alpha.
This success attracted the attention of global gaming technology platform provider Bragg Gaming Group. A mutual acquaintance in the gaming industry played matchmaker, connecting the two companies to discuss a potential acquisition, Roxane Fallon said.
Intrigued by the possibility of accessing Bragg’s experience and technology to bring their content to a wider audience, the Fallons agreed. In June 2021, the deal closed for $30 million, landing the co-founders an immediate $10 million payout in cash and an additional $20 million in stock over three years, according to the buyer’s financial statements (page 19). Leaning on their deep roots in the gaming industry, it had taken the pair just six years to build a company worth 8 figures.
The acquisition wasn’t without its bumpy moments, but overall the Fallons are happy at their new home, where Doug Fallon has taken on the position of content director at Bragg and Roxane Fallon serves as operations director.
“A business you begin and grow becomes your baby. It’s hard to let go at times. At other times, you think of the better opportunities you will have. Being part of a larger company comes with a lot of benefits,” reflected Roxane Fallon.
Working within Bragg, the Fallons are now developing new land-based and online games that offer even better experiences for players. They are also enjoying the impacts of selling a company for an eight-figure sum. “It has been a life-long dream for both Doug and myself to start and run a successful business,” Roxane Fallon said. “We have now accomplished that and our kid’s college tuition is paid for.”