Former F1 Star Rubens Barrichello Turns Focus to Online Gambling in Lat Am

  • Barrichello will promote Softswiss’s products and services in Brazil and Latin America
  • Softswiss exec Montik said Barrichello’s unique skillset was what “our company needs”
  • Ex-racer sees similarities with F1 and “the data-driven nature of the iGaming industry”
Former F1 star and Brazilian icon Rubens Barrichello has teamed up with Softswiss. [Image:]

Firm in pole position

With Brazil’s regulated online gambling market launching on January 1, 2025, a firm furnishing the online gambling sector with tech infrastructure has got into pole position by partnering with the country’s former Formula One star, Rubens Barrichello.

Softswiss is investing approximately €2.5m ($2.68) in infrastructure

According to Forbes on Wednesday, Malta-headquartered firm Softswiss is investing approximately €2.5m ($2.68) in infrastructure ahead of the market’s rollout next year.

Barrichello, who won 11 Grand Prix victories over an F1 career spanning 1993 to 2011, has been a non-executive director at Softswiss since April. While media reports have not disclosed the specifics on the financial deal, the ex-F1 star has not taken shares in the company.

Forbes reports that Barrichello will use his personal brand and business network in Brazil and Latin America to promote Softswiss’s products and services.

“Just like [Brazilian food company supported me] Arisco early in my racing career, I’d like to have my name and image associated with Softswiss in the long run,” Barrichello stated.

Big business up ahead

Momentum is gathering for the launch of Brazil’s iGaming vertical ever since President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed off a federal gaming bill on December 30, 2024.

Forbes cited investment firm XP’s estimation that for 2023, the online gaming vertical in Brazil grossed approximately R$120bn ($21bn), which is a hike of 71% on 2020. With so much potential for growth, Softswiss sees Barrichello as a marketable medium for supporting it in Brazil and then in wider Latin America.

I thought they were just about gambling at first.”

Barrichello, however, wasn’t sure about collaborating with Softswiss. “I thought they were just about gambling at first.” He later changed his mind when he learned of the Malta firm’s focus on responsible gaming.

For Softswiss founder Ivan Montik, partnering with Barrichello was a no-brainer because of multiple factors. “Not only Rubens wants to delve deeper into the technology side of things, but he also has great business skills and contacts globally, and an ability to connect with people from different cultures.”

Montik said Barrichello’s unique array of skills was what “our company needs.”

Barrichello’s new bag

Montik’s reference to Barrichello’s tech affinity was borne out by the Brazilian racing legend who teamed with Michael Schumacher for Ferrari from 2000 to 2005.

In an exclusive with Forbes, Barrichello stated: “I was skilled at interpreting the data from the car’s sensors and computers during my time in F1, and I see similarities with the data-driven nature of the iGaming industry.”

Since leaving F1, Barrichello has pivoted into media and business ventures, with his YouTube channel Acelerados now one of Brazil’s largest online communities dedicated to motorsports and racing.

Montik sees an opportunity to integrate Softswiss’s technology and branding around Acelerados, which currently has over two million subscribers.

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