The meteoric rise of Sportpesa into a giant betting company did not happen by chance. The company got almost everything right.
It had deep-pocketed investors and founders with enormous experience in how to crack the betting underworld.
Then the company quickly acquired friends in high places to support its bidding. From the state betting board to inside parliament, to inside the corridors of the Judiciary.
It also launched when the Kenyan market was ready for the betting craze. Kenyans rewarded it handsomely for its pain and in less than four years, when it was raking in more than Sh100 billion in revenues annually.
The company also had an efficient betting platform that paid punters promptly, winning it enormous public trust, which is the most important currency in the industry.
But most importantly, it had a great captain in Ronald Karauri, the son of a politician who in four years transformed a small company into an enviable firm that minted billions every month.
In this episode, Karauri takes Country of Gamblers through the humble foundations of Sportpesa, explaining how the betting juggernaut was put together in a casino, at a poker table, and handed over to him to fly it off ground.
That was long before trouble came knocking. Trouble that left the former Kenya Airways captain helpless as a vicious boardroom fight amongst billionaire investors spread like a malignant cancer.