CAFE CHAT: Karl Begg, Speedcafe.com’s new majority shareholder

After the announcement last week that Brett ‘Crusher’ Murray had sold 80 percent of Speedcafe.com to a number of Brisbane-based businessmen, we thought it would be good for the readers to get to know majority shareholder Karl Begg a little better.

Karl, firstly congratulations on acquiring the majority share in Speedcafe.com. It must be an exciting time for you and your team?

It’s very exciting. It’s been a good 12 months negotiating with Crusher and essentially letting go of his baby. He’s done an awesome job at building the site and the brand over the years. When the opportunity came up to look at an acquisition or a partnership, it was a no brainer.

When I first met with Crusher, it was just a casual chat about what his plans were and then it sort of progressed into looking at an acquisition and, and with Richard and Rob on board, it just made sense.

Why Speedcafe.com?

I think everyone is impressed by the professionalism and the content that comes out. As well as the amount of unique content.

I’ve always looked up to the brand as number one in the space.

The other partners (Richard Gresham and Robert Gooley), what role will they play?

We’re all good mates and are all very much business minded. Richard’s got a lot of experience buying and selling and building up businesses, so he’s sort of coming in as a strategic partner, but has also been a massive player in actually doing the deal, doing the due diligence and all those sorts of things.

Then Rob’s got a huge background in buying and selling businesses, but also the marketing side too. He’ll play a big part in that and will be instrumental in the growth side of things.

Q: Your history, tell the Speedcafe.com readers a bit about yourself and your journey to this point?

From a business point of view I started a company, an odds comparison website back in 2006 for the sports wagering industry and ran that for about 16 years. And then it was up until recently (2019) it was acquired by the company that I’m now the CTO for. I’m still very heavily involved in that business and that’s how the tech side of it played out.

From a Motorsport point of view, I’ve been racing state based categories and national categories for the last 12 years. So put two together and it just made sense.

Q: Brett Murray remains a 20 percent shareholder. You’ll no doubt be leaning on his experience and knowledge into the future?

It’s important for us to have Crusher still involved. When you’ve got someone who’s founded a company like this, and I’ve been in this boat, you know just doing an acquire and complete handover overnight doesn’t work.

When you’ve got the amount of passion behind the brand, like Crusher has, it’s important to have him on.

The way we see it working, especially for the first 12 months, he’ll still be very heavily involved, but even three to four years down the track, he’s always going to be there from a strategic point of view.

Q: What’s the future for Speedcafe.com, can you reveal any early thoughts on your plans for the site and business as a whole?

We don’t have any great plans [to change it too much]. We don’t want to mess with something that’s already a good thing, but there’s lots of opportunities to grow from a tech point of view. Things like the app, website, and some of the other brands as well.

With Torquecafe, there are huge growth opportunities. Then there’s the global growth as well.

I think Crush had some plans before the world got taken over by COVID, which sort of got put on hold. We’d like to light the fire there again and start looking at some of the opportunities in the US, UK, and Europe.

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