Fantasy sports has suddenly become hot pie in India. With the ever-growing influence of the IPL — both financially and culturally — new sport leagues have come up across the country in football, badminton, the traditional game of Kabaddi among others. And as has been the case globally, sports leagues give birth to money-making fantasy sports leagues.
India now has plenty of both — sports leagues as well as there fantasy sports counterparts. And the fantasy sports part of it may just see a fresh new entrant. Regional social networking app ShareChat has reportedly rolled out a new fantasy sports app which it has been testing for six months.The news first came in via TechCrunch.
The app, which is named Jeet11, enables users to bet on sports like cricket and football matches. So far, the platform has amassed more than 120,000 registered users. There is a website as well, which currently runs more like a web-view of the mobile app in itself.
What intrigues me while looking at the app and website of the platform, is the fact that there is no mention of ShareChat. That could perhaps be because of the experimental nature of the platform itself. A company spokesperson has confirmed the existence of the app, saying: “This is presently at an experimentation stage. Based on the outcome of the experiment, we will decide on the future of the product.”
Because of the issue with the guidelines on the Google Play Store platform around betting apps, the app is currently not available to download through that. ShareChat is hence using Xiaomi’s GetApps to provide users access to the app, along with its own website.
The launch of the platform comes at a perfect time as the cricket season in India is about to kick-off with Indian Premier League (IPL) from 29th March 2020, i.e. next month. IPL in itself is a mega cricket showdown, with the league catapulting to one among the top 10 most valuable sports leagues globally, within a short span of just over a decade.
ShareChat’s Jeet11 will be coming up against a highly crowded market of already existing fantasy sports platform. The biggest of them all is Dream11, which claims to have more than 65 million users last year. The company has raised about $100 million to date and is already valued at more than $1 billion. More recently, The Tech Portal exclusively reported of Dream11’s plans to get into sports streaming and event management.
Where ShareChat can get an edge though, is targeting its existing userbase. During a chat when the company raised $100 million from Twitter last year, co-founder Ankush Sachdeva had mentioned some numbers around the app. According to him ShareChat had month active users (MAU) of about 50 million, across 15 languages back in August 2019. The company had then projected to ramp that number up to 120-150 million monthly over a 12-month period. Current numbers are unavailable.