Global online mobile gaming platform i3 Interactive Inc has acquired a 51% stake in Indian online fantasy sports platform Livepools.
Launched in 2018 by brothers Vikram and Gaurav Assomull, Livepools claims to have 1.5 Mn registered users on its platform, which offers fantasy cricket, football and quiz games. The company will use the funds to provide greater prize pools, roll out additional product offerings and update newer elements in the app and website for better consumer interaction and a smooth user experience. Livepools aims to attain the 10 Mn users mark by 2022.
“The changing face of the Indian economy indicates favourable conditions for the rapid expansion of the fantasy gaming sector. We personally think that we have just scratched the surface and we are at the cusp of unlocking newer avenues to expand our presence in the skill-based fantasy sports sector,” said Vikram Assomull, cofounder at Livepools.
According to the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and KPMG, gross revenues of online fantasy sports operators stood at INR 2,400 Cr in FY20 compared to INR 920 Cr in FY19, up by over 160%.
“Through this acquisition i3 continues with its vision to build the best in market product suite in India, following on from its launch of BLITZPOKER mid last year. Our goal is to create, a premium ecosystem for players to maximize their enjoyment across a variety of online skill-based games,” said an i3 Interactive Inc spokesperson.
Recently, Sweden-based free-to-play gaming studio Stillfront Group acquired Bengaluru-based Moonfrog Labs Private Limited, the company behind popular games like Teen Patti Gold, Ludo Club, Rummy Gold and others.
The user base for fantasy sports in India has grown exponentially in the last three years, from 20 lakh in 2016 to 9 Cr in 2019, registering a 4,400% increase. Further, the number of users was expected to reach 10 Cr by the end of 2020.
This has also led to an increase in GST collections from the sector, to the tune of INR 445 Cr in FY20, a 2.6x increase from the INR 166 Cr collected in FY19. The Indian fantasy sports industry, led by the likes of Dream11, Mobile Premier League (MPL) and MyTeam11, is growing at a CAGR of 32% and its worth is expected to be $3.7 Bn by the year-end 2024.
An Inc42 Plus report reveals that the Indian mobile gaming market was at $1.2 Bn by the end of 2020, at the sixth position globally. India is expected to be among the top five markets for mobile gaming, with a user base of 326 Mn.