FanClash, a Gurugram-based Fantasy gaming startup, has attracted $40 Mn in Series B round financing lead by Alpha Wave Global. Other investors include Sequoia Capital India, Falcon Edge, Info Edge India and Falcon.
Over the past few years, a wave of fantasy sports has taken over India. With the country’s religious sports craze, and the pandemic forcing a massive part of the young workforce into idle situations, fantasy sports has spread like wildfire.
With a 160 million userbase and ₹34,000 crore market size as of FY 2021, the sky seems to be the limit. 85% of fantasy sports market in India is dominated by cricket, more specifically the IPL. Ironically, with an expected prize pool of $1 Bn for FY2025, the prize money is set to cross the IPL itself. FanClash is attempting to carry this raging potential over to fantasy eSports.
Videogame streaming and high level competitions have seen their numbers blow up the roof ever since the internet accessibility boom of 2016. Competitive tournaments of coveted titles like CS:GO, PUBG, DOTA 2 have become a preferred choice of entertainment for the younger age groups. FanClash allows eSports fanatics to create fantasy teams for such tournaments.
Co-founder and CEO Richa Singh said “We focus only on core esports tournaments. We are not looking into casual games. Our thesis is that the world is seeing the emergence of a new kind of sport, and when there’s a new sport, there will be a data layer and a fantasy layer built on top of it. These esports have larger following than cricket, but they lack data and fantasy layers.”
FanClash plans to use the proceeds from this round to build a global esports fantasy, data and fan engagement platform. The company has India at the forefront of its target demographic, but is also planning to scale up to an international level, starting with Phillipines.
“We aspire to be a household name in the global gaming community. At a broader level, our vision is to make the Indian startup ecosystem proud by creating ‘a global digital product from India, for the world’ and we believe we have the right ingredients to become world leaders,” Singh added.
Since sports are not an exact science, and are subject to random increase and decrease in player performance levels, the concept of fantasy sports has ridden a grey area between entertainment and gambling. As a result, fantasy sports have been banned in the states of Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Andra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.