Betfair processes an average of 5m transactions a day—which it claims is more than all of Europe’s stock markets combined and that it is one of Britain’s biggest online betting companies. Founded in 1999 by Andrew Black and Edward Wray, the firm’s technology enables punters to choose their own odds and bet against each other even after an event has started. The West London company charges commission of 2%-5% on winnings. Its international success, gaming products such as poker and baccarat, and increasing popularity led to Softbank buying a 23% stake for an estimated £345m in April 2006. Sales in 2007 were £181.9m.

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Company details
ActivityOnline bookmaker
LocationWest London
Sales £m181.9
Operating profit £m20.1
Main shareholdersSoftbank (23%), co-founders (23%)

If applicable:

* supplied by Company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda