Faces Of The Startup Nation: Q&A With Gambling Great Eyal Shaked Of 888
The owner and shareholder of the successful online gambling corporation, 888 Holdings Ltd, Eyal Shaked is also one of the company’s co-founders. When he’s not enveloped in the world of online gaming, Shaked is a “super angel” investor for early stage to A round startup companies, with a focus on those companies looking to disrupt the world of online gaming and gambling, BI, payment monetization, and marketing. Shaked is the owner of Shaked Ventures and is a graduate of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, receiving a degree in information technology and business management.
What is your biggest inspiration? My biggest inspiration is my father, Avi Shaked, who founded 888. He taught me everything I know about the business world and poker. It’s a privilege to be around him since he founded the company. I still seek his advice and consult with him when necessary.
Who is the one person, past or present, you’d love to have dinner with? Barak Obama, as a leader of the free world and a pretty good basketball player.
Falafel or shawarma? Definitely Shawarma! Preferably Emil’s or Bambino’s in Haifa. In general, Haifa is the Israeli empire for Shawarma. I would even go on to say that Haifa is the Shawarma capital of the world! I feel lots of other cities have what to learn from Haifa. I like to eat my Shawarma extremely spicy.
What are some of your favorite weekend activities? Horseback riding (I met my wife when we were competing at Israel’s Youth Equestrian Championship when we were only 16 years old) I have been riding since I was 10 years old. Our dream is to have family horse backriding trips when my kids are a bit older.
What is your favorite Hebrew word? “Rak daka”or “shnia”. Of course, it’s never a second! Every Israeli knows this. I always laugh when I have guests from abroad that get this answer when they’re waiting for something and don’t understand why things don’t actually take a second when someone just said it.
If you were a selfie, what would you look like?
What’s your homepage? www.shakedventures.com Shaked Ventures is our family investment fund that deals with early stage investment in the gaming domain. We specialize in the range between early investments and VCs that are in a much more mature state. We’re interested in startups making their way through the booming industry of online gaming and gambling.
What’s your hidden talent? I’m a chef. I love to cook new recipes, but not Shawarma. I leave that to the experts. I especially enjoy cooking Italian. I love cooking for others. I make the world’s best lasagna! Trust me.
What is the best place that you’ve ever traveled to? Las Vegas is the best city in the world. Lots of business trips with 888 and leisure travel brought me to this conclusion. Las Vegas has transformed from solely gaming-oriented to entertainment and life-style oriented which makes the city even more appealing. Every time I go to the states I do the best I can to stop in Vegas. I owe it to myself. After all, it’s Vegas baby!
Who was your first celebrity crush? Alyssa Milano. I fell in love with her when she was Tony’s daughter on “Who’s the Boss?” When I was 13 I had a huge crush on her. Now I just like traveling to Milano (the city that is).
What are you totally addicted to? Sushi! I can eat sushi all day everyday! Wherever I travel I choose the best sushi around and have to go there.
Bar Refaeli or Gal Gadot? My wife – Daria 🙂 She could take Wonder Woman any day!
If you weren’t and entrepreneur, you’d be? Professional poker player! I always wanted to participate in the international poker match and I know that one day I will live up to it.
Tel Aviv or New York? Tel Aviv. As someone who has always lived here I love this city the most. I want my kids to grow up in Israel and I just absolutely hate the weather in NY. Also, it’s closer to Haifa, where my beloved Shawarma is (I really like Shawarma☺)
What were your first steps in the business world? My first steps into the business world were in 1998 when I started working for 888 and helped develop what was later known as Affiliate Networks. When I finished high school, I immediately joined 888 and worked there while I got my BA. My first stop was in the marketing and affiliate department and I grew to learn a lot about business development. In 2002, I was relocated to Gibraltar, which was an amazing experience.
Burger or green juice? Shawarma with Green juice (told you ☺)