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With a current base of 40 lakh users, BalleBaazi.com has seen a 500% increase in CAGR in FY 19-20BI India
BalleBaazi.com has partnered with many brands on a cross-value proposition to maximize its audience outreach
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We have seen a constant rise in our business as we posted an increase of 500% CAGR in FY 19-20: Saurabh Chopra, CEO, BalleBaazi.com

BalleBaazi.com has partnered with many brands on a cross-value proposition to maximize its audience outreach
  • The online fantasy sports segment in India is growing by leaps and bounds.
  • One such player that has been witnessing good growth is BalleBaazi. With a current base of 40 lakh users, the platform has seen a 500% increase in CAGR in FY 19-20.
  • We speak to Saurabh Chopra, CEO, BalleBaazi.com who told us about the growth it the platform has seen in the last 12 months, the factors that contributed to its growth and the platform’s strategy to further expand its presence in the market.
Online gaming in India has witnessed unprecedented growth in the last few years. While till a few years back there were a handful of players in the country, there were over 140 operators by the end of 2019.

A recent report by the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and KPMG titled ‘Business of Fantasy Sports’ stated that Online Fantasy Sports (OFS) operators’ gross revenues stood at Rs 2,400+ crore for the FY20 as compared to Rs 920+ crore in FY19 which was an increase of almost 3X over a period of 12 months.

Even during the ongoing Indian Premier League, many online gaming platforms have been battling each other to grab maximum eyeballs.

One such player that has been witnessing good growth is BalleBaazi. With a current userbase of 40 Lakh users, the platform seen a 500% increase in CAGR in FY 19-20.

We recently caught up with Saurabh Chopra, CEO, BalleBaazi.com who spoke to us about the growth it has seen in the last 12 months, the factors that contributed to its growth and the platform’s strategy to further expand its presence in the market.

Excerpts:

Q) The fantasy sports segment has seen a boom this year. How has BalleBaazi's year been so far?
The Online Fantasy Sports (OFS) industry has witnessed an upsurge in the past few years, especially in 2019 when the market saw a spiraling ascent, sparking the onset of many new players in the industry. While the industry currently has 140+ operators, BalleBaazi.com has been one of the first and the highest grossing platforms. We can boast of an extremely loyal userbase of core fantasy gaming enthusiasts and we see BalleBaazi.com posting a D-30 retention of 40% for its newly acquired users, which is significantly higher than the industry standard. Even when live sporting events had come to a halt, we kept our fans engaged via Virtual Fantasy Leagues and quizzes which enhanced their knowledge and eventually their skill of their respective sports. We have seen a constant rise in our business as we posted an increase of 500% CAGR in FY 19-20. The next 24 months will also be an exciting time for us as we get set to witness the cricketing fiesta, which has 3 IPLs and 2 World Cups. We are well-equipped and have charted out a detailed plan to grow our business significantly in this period. We have utilized this sports break to further enhance our tech stack which is now capable of handling upwards of 1 million concurrent users on the app.

Q)What kind of impact did the pandemic have on your platform? Did you witness a huge spike in terms of consumers coming on board, like a lot of other games have?
While Baazi Games’ other platforms – PokerBaazi.com and RummyBaazi.com – saw a huge rise in participation, BalleBaazi.com, which is solely dependent on live sporting events witnessed a temporary dip in the traffic during this period. However, we kept our fans engaged by conducting Virtual Fantasy Leagues, Quizzes, and adding international sports like Baseball and Basketball. We kept our users enticed through our other gaming arms, resulting in a rise on our Rummy-based and Poker-based platforms. These applications aim at providing a favorable user experience and aim to expand their userbase in 2021 whilst adapting to the market rapidly.

Q) What kind of potential does India present for the fantasy sports segment? What kind of growth has it been witnessing and what does the future hold? How are you contributing to that growth?
India has a huge potential for Fantasy Sports as internet access has expanded according to a report published by the governing body of Fantasy Sports in India –The Federation of India Fantasy Sports (FIFS) – 2019 saw an overall turnover of Rs 920+ crore and due to work from home being adapted during the pandemic, it has even predicted the revenues to grow 3x as it may touch Rs 2,400+ crore in 2020.

It also showed a rapid increase in the user base of Online Fantasy Platforms as the participants increased from 2 million in 2016 to 9 Million in 2019. The industry has also seen more players emerging as it increased from 10 operators in 2016 to 140+ operators by the end of 2019. With increasing number of users, the Contest Entry Amount (CEA) also shot up as it registered a total of Rs 16,500 crore in FY20 in comparison to Rs 6,000 crore in FY19.

For a country which worships cricket and its players, BalleBaazi.com offers a safe and authentic platform for users to apply their understanding of a sport which they follow religiously and use their expertise to create a team, make suitable combinations and analyse each and every player’s performance basis their understanding, which makes for a well-informed decision eventually. These stats highlight the Indian market’s appetite for OFS platforms and the rise for BalleBaazi.com as well. While we have new OFS platforms emerging, it boils down to the platform which provides a credible experience and we have been appreciated for the same by our consumers.

Q) How do players benefit from being on BalleBaazi?
BalleBaazi.com offers users a chance to use their skill and knowledge of the game to win real cash and rewards. When you are victorious in a match, you get real cash. On the other hand, when you lose, you don’t really lose; you get BB Coins, which can be redeemed for vouchers and merchandise at our BB rewards store. This aforementioned module of ours is called the Reward Programme, which is a one-of-a-kind offering in the industry. Our gadget leagues and free-rolls are quite popular among fantasy fans, across the country. Other than that, we have partnered with many brands on a cross-value proposition to maximize our audience outreach and provide our users with many various offerings from this aspect. BalleBaazi.com has been providing state-of-the-art gaming experience through its mobile and web products, backed by formidable operations and a 24/7 customer support.

Q) What is your USP? How are you different from other gaming apps?
We started our operations in the market in 2018 with a singular mission of providing ‘The Best Fantasy Sports Experience’ in the field of Cricket. We designed our app and website keeping in mind the love and passion our nation shares for the game. Along with ensuring that no one leaves empty-handed when they make their teams on BalleBaazi with our Reward Programme, we also offer options of Batting and Bowling Fantasy, separately. Long story short, our versatility is our USP.

After a successful start to the platform with Fantasy Cricket, we ventured into other sports as well, such as Football, Kabaddi, and even Basketball and Baseball, along with Quiz formats for our users to learn and enhance the skill of their respective sports.

With #Playerfirst as our guiding principle, we make sure our users have the smoothest, fun & safe gaming experience. There are various SSL protocols that enable BalleBaazi.com to become one the most secure sports platform as users' money is safely transacted through deposits and withdrawals. We are constantly on the lookout for new concepts in Fantasy Gaming and believe in contributing our best to the arena of skill & knowledge gaming.

Q)How do you plan to expand your presence? What is your growth strategy going to be, going ahead? How are you going about getting investments to fuel your growth?
Baazi Games is on track to achieve the proposed expansion in userbase from 5 million to 50 million in the next 24-36 months. Additionally, we have expanded our product portfolio to cater to various customers. Besides this BalleBaazi.com caters to various sports apart, which will enhance the consumer’s outlook and widen their perspective in terms of sports and will help us achieve that target. Also, taking our community feedback into consideration, we are continuously working towards re-vamping the Machine Learning based AI for real-time matches, enhancing the UI UX to be gamified with a minimalistic design philosophy.

Year after year, we’ve shown results to our investors. Even during the pandemic, we had managed to entertain our users by introducing new features on our platform. We wish to keep at it when it comes to innovation and proving our worth. Now would be the time to jump onto the bandwagon and reap huge profits by investing in the growing sector of fantasy sports and BalleBaazi.com that’s destined to become India’s go-to fantasy sports platform.

Q) What is your vision for BalleBaazi? Do you have a target in place, in terms of revenue, user base?

We have planned to add another 2 Million to our Baazigar community in the upcoming Indian Premier League as it’s one of the biggest revenue-generators and growth-drivers for fantasy gaming apps. We are all set to go all guns blazing for this season. Moreover, we are among the top 4 fantasy gaming apps in the country in terms of traffic and would want build on that.

Q) A lot of Indian games are doing well globally too. Do you have any plans of testing international waters?
Currently, our aim is to become the best in the gaming industry of our country. While we understand a lot of the industry-leaders are venturing into International waters, we feel it is important to ascertain our foothold in the Indian market first, before we expand to different markets. However, we can’t rule that out as BalleBaazi.com is a universal platform which has the potential to engage every sporting enthusiast.