Fantasy Akhada, a Gurugram-based online fantasy sports platform has secured $2 Mn in Pre-Series A round of funding from Prime Securities, Team India Managers limited and existing investors.
The secured funds will go towards enhancing in-house technological capabilities, user acquisition and retention, and scaling up the organisation. The startup had made headlines in September 2020 when cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle invested in the startup and became the face of the brand.
Other existing investors include Jyotivardhan Jaipuria (ex-Bank of America, Merrill Lynch), Sunil Sood (former MD and CEO, Vodafone), Atul Kasbekar (eminent photographer/producer). Nikunj Doshi (Managing Partner – Bay Capital). The startup had raised around $1Mn in April 2021.
Founded in 2020 by Amit Purohit, the platform has grown rapidly. The startup claims to have more than 6 lakh users on its platform. The new infusion of capital comes before the upcoming T-20 cricket season which will see both the Indian Premier League and the T20 World Cup play out in the United Arab Emirates.
Fantasy Akhada is an online fantasy sports platform that lets users create fantasy football and cricket teams. The platform plans to expand to Kabbadi and Basketball in the near future.
Even though the Indian market for fantasy sports isn’t as large as that in North America, it has the largest potential for growth amongst other regions. But Fantasy Akhada still has to compete with heavyweights like Dream11 and MPL, both of which have achieved unicorn status and operate in the same space.
Dream Sports, the parent company of Dream 11, is planning a US listing to raise over $1.5 Bn. In the meanwhile, Mobile Premier League (MPL) entered the unicorn club with a $2.3Bn evaluation.
Other smaller fantasy sport startups like Nazara-owned HalaPlay have also sought to raise funds to take advantage of the growing market for fantasy sports in the country. According to reports, there were more than 90 million fantasy sports players in the country in 2020, compared to just two million in 2016.
The fantasy sports industry has risen to capture close to one-third of India’s mobile gaming market.