India has over 70 fantasy sports companies which comprise almost one-third of the Rs 5,000 crore gaming market, thereby making it quite a crowded space. New kid on the block, Sportz Interactive, a B2B sports data, content and technology company, has forayed into the fantasy gaming space, with the launch of Fantasy Gully, a platform that would aggregate over 22 fantasy sports companies on its platform. The aggregator platform is a menu card of fantasy contests across platforms and suggests users the contest they should participate in, based on their skill sets.
"The idea is to complement all the fantasy offerings on a single platform. Considering that it is a crowded space, we thought an aggregation model would be a better way to de-risk our business," explains Arvind Iyengar, CEO, Sportz Interactive. Though Fantasy Gully has been launched as a free offering, Iyengar says that the plan is to add a premium layer. "We also plan to do a revenue share deal with the fantasy sports companies."
The aggregation platform would have an automatic line-up builder, which would give players different team combinations for whichever platform they are playing on. It will also give news about players and updates about their injuries. Since fantasy sports is termed as a game of skills and not a game of chance, a large number of fantasy sports companies in India, such as Dream 11 and many others have strong private equity backing.
The flipside, however, is that most of them are dependent on cricket and hence the content they offer is me-too. Around 80-85 per cent fantasy content is cricket. Even Sportz Interactive is making its foray with cricket. Iyengar says that Fantasy Gully would eventually look at other sports too.
The pandemic and the confinement within the four walls of the house has not just led to an increase in the business of OTT subscriptions, but also gaming. However, the biggest beneficiary was mobile gaming and not so much fantasy sports. With live sports back in action, Iyengar expects a lot of interest in fantasy games. "In order to play fantasy games you need live sports and there were no live sports through the lockdown. Now that it is back, the gamers are back too."
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