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Crypto gaming billionaire Ed Craven dangles $100,000 sign-on carrots to lure engineers away from Canva, Atlassian and Australia’s top tech companies

- June 20, 2024 2 MIN READ
Edward Craven and Bijan Tehrani
Stake.com cofounders Edward Craven and Bijan Tehrani
The overheated tech salary days of 2022 may be set to return, in engineering at least, if crypto gaming billionaire Ed Craven has his way.

Craven, 28, and his cofounder Bijan Tehrani at online casino Stake.com and live-streaming platform Kick, are offering sign-on bonuses for senior and principal software engineers and engineering managers of between $50,000 and up to $100,000 – in cash, not crypto – at their Melbourne business Easygo Engineering, alongside salaries at up to 20% above the industry standard. 

They’re also throwing in relocation costs to Melbourne.

Whether splashing around the cash is incentive enough to leave a company like Canva, where staff also receive shares in the design unicorn which is looking to list publicly in the next few years, remains to be seen, especially since the mission shifts from graphic design to a cryptocurrency casino and betting.

Easygo is positioned as a service provider to Stake.com, Kick.com and Twist Gaming, with around 350 employees at the Melbourne CBD HQ. 

Gambling with crypto is banned in Australia, so Stake.com makes its money offshore, although last month, Craven and Tehrani became a substantial shareholder in ASX-listed online bookmaker Pointsbet, building up a 5.01% stake via their company Easygo Entertainment. Stake has a sports betting arm.

Their other business, Kick, has F1 and English Premier League sponsorship deals, although Stake’s involvement has caused concerns with regulators in Australia and Switzerland around restrictions on gambling promotions

Easygo CTO Dave Lemphers said their incentives are aimed a senior level engineers with experience at organisations like Canva, Atlassian, Xero and FAANG companies.

“As we push the boundaries of technological advancement, we know exceptional engineers are key to our success,” he said.

“We’re building the best engineering culture here in Melbourne, focused  on learning, growth, and ownership. We’re looking for engineers hungry for massive scale challenges who want to be part of the world’s best engineering team.” 

The push comes as Stake.com looks to set up Australian gambling operations, having applied for a bookmaking licence in the Northern Territory, the jurisdiction that permits online gambling.

The company is also currently in a Federal Court battle with the Australia online share buying platform Stake.com.au over the use of the Stake name in Australia.

Stake.com is registered in Curacao, the Caribbean island which produces an eponymous blue liqueur that looks like antifreeze.

 

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