Dream11, and the scope of fantasy gaming in India

Indians are ready to be indulged in the world of fantasy gaming, says Bhaskar Majumdar, managing partner at Unicorn India Ventures.

As an early-stage investor, we come across business ideas ranging from copies of western ideas to innovative solutions for real problems.

As a serial entrepreneur-turned-investor, media tech has been of keen interest to me. Coupled with technology, the media segment can become a hotbed for original and innovative business ideas. A particular vertical in media tech segment, which has seen high investor confidence, is fantasy gaming.

The success of Dream11 should inspire more entrepreneurs to look at fantasy gaming as a business model, which has multiple ways to monetise.

Fantasy gaming is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28% to touch $1.2 billion by 2022. Real money gaming accounts for 55% of the market with a growing user base.

Sports-focused games can offer a clear monetization model. We are a cricket-crazy nation and are increasingly exhibiting love for other sports such as football, kabaddi and tennis.

Entrepreneurs should take note of how the consumer in this segment is becoming more aware as we acknowledge the emergence of new sporting icons such as Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik, P.V. Sindhu, Geeta Phogat and Mary Kom.

Other factors in favour include higher data penetration, falling tariffs, increasing disposable incomes and acceptance of digital payments. These tell us that the Indian consumer is ready to be indulged in the world of fantasy gaming.

The cost of building such a business and the customer acquisition cost are expected to remain low, as it is still under-penetrated. It offers an immediate connection with users, investors and sports personalities.

Right now, we see Dream11 capturing everyone’s attention as it has positioned itself well on all these fronts. With a market opportunity of over $1 billion, there is room for more entrepreneurs to raise the stakes and play their cards right.

Bhaskar Majumdar is managing partner at Unicorn India Ventures.