“Real money gaming has huge scope in India and the biggest example of that is Dream11” — Raj Kundra
Being an entrepreneur for over two decades now, Raj Kundra knows a thing or two about starting new ventures and this time he’s stepped back into real money gaming with Housie Quiz. Housie or Lotto or Bingo, popularly known as Tambola in India, has been around for decades and is seen as a game of chance.
However, Kundra has found a way to make this game of chance a game of skill under the definition of real money gaming in India right now. Housie Quiz is an online version of the popular housie game. On the online application, a player can purchase up to two tickets that cost INR 25 each and play housie via the live streaming feed.
What differentiates the online and offline version is that with every number, the gamer has to answer a question with 15 seconds on the clock. If the answer is right, a user gets the point otherwise it is marked Red, which reduces the player’s chances of winning the game.
Talking to Inc42, Kundra explained that the company has based the questions on the average IQ in India, which according to World Data organisation is 81. “So we formed the questions following the average IQ of 81 which are general knowledge and everyday questions. It’s Bollywood, cricket all questions that can be easily answered,” he explained.
Raj Kundra has invested INR 3 Cr in Housie Quiz himself and has INR 10 Cr before going for external funding. “The idea is to give out the proper concept and get a million users base and later we will look at going for rounds of funding,” Kundra added.
Tier 2 And Beyond: Bringing Vernacular Spread
At present, the app is available in English and Hindi. With time, Kundra said, that the company wants to enable multiple vernacular languages as the focus is on tier 2 and tier 3 markets.
“Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets for sure, because the entry in this game is probably one of the cheapest as compared to other real money gaming. It’s just INR 25 a ticket. So, there is definitely a lot to win, you are just paying the minimum. The more people join the more you win,” he explained.
The company is currently hosting three live games daily which starts at a price of INR 10,000 for 1 pm and 4 pm game and INR 20,000 for the 8 pm game.
Leveraging Offline Touchpoints For Housie Quiz
As for ensuring the reach in these markets, which are still getting online, Kundra said that the company has built a huge offline retainer distributor base.
“There are about 5000 touchpoints for real money games like GOD (Game of Dot). So through those retail distributors, we will be putting in this game as well, so people pay their INR 50 in person at the shop and their tickets are transferred into the account. So we have a good offline market and it’s going very handy,” Kundra told us.
The app is currently under beta testing and Kundra claims that it can handle upto a million users at once. He wants to reach 1 Mn users on the app in the next six months with a team of around 30 employees, half of which are in tech-end.
“Once we touch a million users we expand the languages. At the end of the day, it’s all about user experience. Housie as a game has so much nostalgic value so we are going to make sure that the essence of the Housie doesn’t vanish when the questions come up and people enjoy the game,” Kundra said.
Real Money Gaming Goes Old School
The recent trends have evolved in skill-based games which are now uplifting the reach and creating a collective base for the players. The Real Money Gaming (RMG) online market is estimated to be around INR 2,200 Cr and is pegged at a growth rate of 30% per annum.
“For me, I wanted to create a real money game which is a game of skill which basically has nostalgic value and a game that can go out beyond male predominate audience and basically where families can play. So right from 18 – 70 years old, our research shows that the most loved game has always been housie and it comes under games of chance and not skill,” Kundra said.
The country’s rising middle class is actually willing to pay for the content and the experience that they get from online and mobile gaming.
“There is a fine line between a game of chance and a game of skills. The Indian rules are still not properly set. In terms of games of skill, I would love to see some change that would define the game of skill more appropriate. But we are definitely seeing some changes happening; there have been various bodies that have been set up in Indian gaming that are setting new rules and guidelines in place. So we are seeing that change happens and also there is great acceptance on real money gaming sports,” Kundra said.
Citing the example of Dream11, Raj Kundra said that people are accepting real money gaming. Going forward, Housie Quiz is planning to bring celebrities on board to maximise its user base.