Teddy Sagi: Founder of Playtech

Teddy Sagi recently reached number seven on Forbes’ 2015 Top
Ten Richest People in Israel list, with his net worth currently
being estimated at 3.4 billion dollars. So how did he accumulate
so much money? Sagi is both an investor and an entrepreneur. Not
only is he the founder of the world’s leading supplier of casino
gaming software, Playtech, but he has also made numerous wise
investments that have significantly increased his wealth over
the years.

He’s known for having said, “To be a billionaire, first you
must make millionaires in your team.”
To gain a better
understanding of who Teddy Sagi is and what his accomplishments
are, please continue reading this extensive biography.

An Introduction to Teddy Sagi

Sagi was born in North Tel Aviv, Israel in 1972 to his
father, Ami, and his mother, Lizi. He spent a good portion of
his childhood growing up in the Shikun Lamed neighborhood, which
is known for being a beautiful residential area for the
moderately wealthy. His father owned a travel agency and showed
him early on in life the importance of hard work and
determination. His mother also worked very hard, as she was a
certified cosmetician who sold and applied makeup for a living.

Playtech: Founded in 1999

In 1999, he launched Playtech, which is now one of the world’s largest online gaming software providers. The start-up costs for this company were
outrageous, as he hired only the most qualified mathematicians
and developers to make their software top of the line. The first
European casino to take their products online was actually
powered by Playtech.

From the beginning, Sagi made sure that Playtech’s software
continued to advance with technology, and the company is still
known today for offering some of the most innovative software
available. They launched several new products early on including
an online bingo network and the necessary software to
accommodate live dealers.

Playtech continued to expand, eventually launching their
first online poker network called, iPoker, which is used by many
popular online casinos today. In 2005, they became one of the
first software developers to offer mobile capabilities, as they
recognized a steady increase in the use of cellular devices. The
following year, Playtech was floated on the London Stock
Exchange, and it was valued at approximately $768 million.

Over the past decade, the company has continued to expand,
having signed numerous additional licensing agreements. Bet365,
Paddy Power, Titan, and William Hill are just some of their more
well-known clients. Playtech makes this promise to those they do
business with, “We are committed to offering our partners
best-in-class gaming products and services across all platforms.
Our vision is to remove the barrier of technology for our
partners, while keeping them at the forefront of innovation.”

Through Playtech, Sagi has raised the bar for other
competitors in the online gambling market. Playtech’s games are
known for having an easy to use interface, enhanced graphics,
and great sound quality. Their games often are associated with
excellent bonuses and special features that give customers more
opportunities to increase their bankroll.

The wide selection of games to choose from is also
impressive; they have baccarat, bingo, blackjack, poker,
roulette, and slot games for starters. Their slots are known for
having unique themes that help create a memorable gaming
experience. Some of their slots are even based off of popular
movies, such as Ace Ventura, Pink Panther, Captain America, and
other Marvel comic book themed films. Playtech releases new
games on a daily basis so that their customers never grow tired
of the same, old thing.

Playtech now has over 3,000 employees across nine different
countries. Their main headquarters are located in the Isle of
Man, but they also have connections to Bulgaria, Cyprus,
Estonia, Israel, Philippines, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Sagi currently only owns 6.3% of the company, as he has sold
the rest of his shares and has started to direct his attention
towards other investment opportunities.

Camden Markets

The history of the Camden Markets can be traced back to the
late 1700s when Earl Camden and several other entrepreneurs
began to develop the land around what we now know as Camden High
Street. Over the years, many more stores have been established,
and now these markets are considered one of the most popular
visitor attractions in London. These six markets attract nearly
forty million people every year.

In March, 2014, Sagi made his first Camden Market purchase,
buying the Camden Stables Market for $557 million. Of course, he
didn’t stop there. A few months later he purchased the Camden
Lock and Buck Street Market, which consists of fifty stores,
twenty galleries, and five food halls. After this transaction
Sagi announced, “We are happy to buy Camden Lock that was a
missing part of the puzzle on the way to creating a global
brand. The purchase allows us to move forward more swiftly with
developing the real estate and the unique electronic commerce
that we are preparing and will make the huge potential of the
place stronger.”

The following year, Sagi purchased Camden Wharf and the
Interchange Building for $132 million, making him the main owner
of the Camden Markets. During the 24th Annual Props Award
(2015), Teddy Sagi was deemed the Entrepreneur of the Year for
these purchases.

One significant change Teddy Sagi made once he purchased the
Camden Markets was expanding sales to the online world. Now
Camden Markets has an updated website where customers have the
opportunity to buy many of the same products they will find on
location. Customers that enjoy the Camden Market products but
don’t have a chance to travel there can now make their purchases
online.

Sagi’s hope is to unify the Camden markets and create a
better sense of community among them. The markets he owns now
work together to make each other profitable, whereas before the
different owners would be in competition with one another. These
markets have also undergone some serious renovations that have
substantially improved the markets’ atmosphere.

Other Investments

Sagi is currently the primary shareholder for SafeCharge, a
payment service provider that was founded in 2006. This company
is known for providing a safe, efficient, and revolutionary way
to make online/mobile payments. SafeCharge received the “Most
Innovative Financial Product Award” at the Forex Magnates
London Summit in the fall of 2013. The company is currently
valued at just over $400 million.

Sagi also bought out the company called Cross Rider for $37
million, just two years after it was founded. Cross Rider
initially just created platforms for developing Internet browser
applications, but after Sagi took over the company they started
to interpret Internet surfing traffic for advertising purposes.
Since the change in ownership and the change in direction, the
company’s value has soared to over $250 million. Sagi also
invested into a company called VisualDNA, which similarly is
designed to help companies better target their ads by collecting
data through personal quizzes.

Under Sagi’s direction, Playtech entered the Forex market by
purchasing TradeFX, sometimes referred to as markets.com, for
$500 million. This company owns the binary options broker
TopOption, along with several smaller brands. Playtech’s Chief
Executive at the time made this brief statement following the
transaction, “The trading platform is complementary to gaming
companies’ operations.”

The investments listed above highlight only some of his most
profitable investments. Sagi has invested in so many different
companies over the years that it would be impossible to list
them all here. Although most of his accusations go smoothly,
he’s not always granted permission to make these purchases.

In the summer of 2015 for example, Sagi attempted to acquire
another Forex company, Plus500, for $700,000. This company
focuses on enabling trades for CFDs (Contracts for Differences).
However, the United Kingdom’s financial regulator, the FCA,
refused to allow this transaction to take place; some speculate
that it’s due to his run in with the law nearly twenty years
earlier.

Personal Life

Sagi is often considered one of Israel’s most eligible
bachelors, and he’s known for always having a beautiful woman by
his side. He has been romantically linked to several famous
women including the former Miss Israel Yael Nizri and supermodel
Bar Refaeli. Sagi and Refaeli’s relationship came with a lot of
media attention, as they were seen at a Britney Spears concert
together just weeks after Refaeli and Leonardo DiCaprio’s long
term relationship had ended.

Sagi enjoys being on the dating scene and has no desire to
settle down or get married any time soon. However, one aspect of
Sagi’s life that many people were not aware of is the fact that
he has two children. Although he keeps his relationship with
them private, we do know that he’s actively involved in their
lives.

Sagi owns the most expensive house in all of Israel; it’s
valued at over $41 million. He owns luxurious homes in other
countries as well including Cyprus, England, Germany, and the
United States. When it comes to his own personal expenses, he’s
not very conservative, which is surprising because when it comes
to his business practices, he’s known to be a penny pincher.