The fantasy sports platforms have seen the light in the day with the commencement of IPL 2020. Initially, when all sporting events were cancelled due to pandemic, it was hard times for fantasy sports operators as fantasy sports platforms are directly dependent on live sporting events.
In conversation with Animationxpress, Fantasy Akhada founder Amit Purohit shared, “When Covid-19 spread in India, we had just launched in January 2020 and were still in our early stage. Additionally, our fixed costs were not very high and hence we were able to handle that phase without great difficulty. We used that period to improve our product, make customer-centric changes and set ourselves up for the post COVID era.”
As the live sporting events started commencing, they have witnessed exponential surge especially with the commencement of IPL 2020. “We have seen a massive surge in all our key metrics during IPL 2020. We have grown our user base by 2.5x and our active users who play cash contests on our platform has gone up by 3x. Not just these numbers, the number of deposit transactions in a day grew by 103 per cent on our platform since 19 September, which saw a huge jump in our top line. I am sure other platforms in the industry must be witnessing great growth numbers during this phase,” he shared.
It is true that cricket fans are facing over-pouring fantasy sports operators over the last couple of years and thus it creates confusion for cricket fans which platform to choose or which platform is the best. According to Purohit most of the fantasy sports platforms which are currently available are the ‘mee-too versions’ of the market leader. He figured out that the missing link of the existing fantasy sports platforms in India has been customer-centricity. Keeping that in mind, Purohit shared that they have launched Fantasy Akhada with innovations like predictions and Match Club, apart from the traditional Daily Fantasy Sports Game. He added, “Additionally, we have a unique and personalised way of approaching customer care and that has made us go to Fantasy Sports App for the #AsliAkhada family.”
Roping sports celebrities for fantasy sports platforms has become a new norm and Fantasy Akhada has been no exception. It was late July / early Aug 2020 when they were looking for a face for their brand. Since according to him fantasy sports is a cluttered industry therefore they required someone who could help their brand to stand out. Additionally, since credibility is also a very critical aspect in the business therefore they roped in a more credible face and the voice of cricket – Harsha Bhogle. Understanding the prospect and the future plans of the brand Bhogle joined not just as a brand ambassador but also as a long term strategic investor. “As a team, we are absolutely delighted to have him on board as very few people have worked for a longer duration towards improving the sports engagement in the country than him,” Purohit opined.
Since IPL has brought in a lot of positivity for the industry brands like Fantasy Akhada could see the light of success. Thus, Fantasy Akhada, will be looking to raise their next round of funding in early 2021 to fuel their next phase of growth. “We will be aggressively looking to ramp up our user base and also expand to more sports (currently we have a play in Cricket and Football). Additionally, there are a lot of new features and exciting partnerships lined up for our users in the year 2021.”