How Dream11 Became India’s First Gaming Unicorn?
After a secondary investment of $1 billion by London and Hong Kong-based Steadview Capital, Dream11 became India’s first gaming unicorn. Harsh Jain, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Dream11 is looking for growth opportunities with this investment.
The user base of Dream11 shows a compound annual growth rate of 230 percent. While the fantasy sports platform leads the market with 50 million users.
The Journey To How It Started?
Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth started Dream11 in 2008 as a sports platform. Through this platform, users can create their own virtual teams with real players. This is for games like cricket, kabaddi, and football.
Users can also make a team before an actual match and can also pick players according to their preference. Later, on the basis of the player’s performance in the match, you can mount the points and rank them. Users can even win cash prizes based on the ranking.
Dream11 was an ad-based and free sports application when it started out, which did not continue for long. The company later launched a freemium model where the free features were made accessible to the users. They were made viable till a point and after that, they had to play. The model worked which led to growth in the revenues along with the users.
Dream11’s Growth Route
Not just the gamers but the investors also started taking interest in the gaming platforms. Taking about Dream11, it does not have a gaming application on Google Play Store. This is because Google does not allow its applications to offer cash contests. To play Dream11 you can download it from Dream11’s website. From 5 percent to 15 percent, Dream11’s paid users have grown up. While the other remaining players are availing the services for free.
According to Harsh Jain, Dream11 is more of a sports company than a gaming company. Former Indian Cricket Team captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni endorses Dream11. The game has also entered a four-year partnership with the BCCI in 2019. It is associated with the Indian Premier League (IPL), International Council Of Cricket (ICC), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), and more.
Ravi Mehta, Managing Director of Steadview Capital said in an interview, “We believe that Dream11 is poised to become the leading sports company in India catering to everything a sports fan needs.” He further added, “It’s a phenomenal growth track record and strong engagement is a testament to the consumer love for the platform”.
Dream11’s success truly serves as an example for the other players in the industry. Fantasy gaming is growing at a CAGR of 28 percent and is expected to touch $1.2 billion by 2022 in India.