Gaming platform Games24x7 has made a strategic investment in digital cricket network CricHeroes.
Launched in 2016 by Abhishek Desai, Cricheroes was initially meant to be a scorekeeping app for grassroots cricketers to keep their scores. However, the Ahmedabad-based company is digitizing cricket at state and district level as well and emerging players are using their statistics from the CricHeroes app for various official tournaments.
Games24x7 on the other hand was founded by New York University-trained economists Bhavin Pandya and Trivikraman Thampy in 2006, and its primary offering is a fantasy sports platform, namely My11Circle. Apart from My11Circle, it also has skill games such as RummyCircle and casual games such as Ultimate Games under its portfolio.
The gaming company is backed by marquee investors, including Tiger Global and The Raine Group, among many others.
Speaking on the reason behind the investment, Rahul Tewari, chief financial officer, Games24x7 commented, “Our daily fantasy sports offering has been focused on the top of the pyramid. This investment will be synergistic as it will help Games24x7 reach the bottom of the pyramid in cricket and drive its mission of extending awesome game playing experiences to more and more sports enthusiasts.”
CricHeroes claims to have over 9 Mn registered users and over 1.5 Mn matches scored. The company also stated that it has partnered with 50+ BCCI State Cricket Associations and ICC Affiliated Members Countries. Through this investment, Games24x7 will get access to an even more extensive user base as well as potential partnerships.
According to the report “Esports In India: Market Landscape Report, 2020″, the esports sector is projected to grow by 36% CAGR in the next 3 years. This is also inclusive of fantasy sports gaming platforms such as Games24x7. The rapid growth is primarily due to the recent rise in Indian smartphone users during the pandemic.
According to a report by BARC & Nielsen, the number of smartphone game users per week grew from 60% in pre-Covid times to 68% during the lockdown. Similarly, the time spent on mobile games per user per week went from 151 minutes before the lockdown to 218 minutes during the lockdown. Esports have a huge potential in the Indian market, given that India has the right distribution of consumers and players, thanks to the high youth population. The aggregate revenue of esports startups and companies in India reached $68 Mn in FY2020, as per Inc42 Plus analysis of 36 companies including Jetsynthesys, Nazara Technologies, Usports, Gamerji among others.