Indian Fantasy Sports Startups’ Revenues Record 3 Jump to Rs 2,400 Crore in FY20

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indian fantasy sports revenue growth
  • Indian Fantasy Sports platforms have experienced a 3x increase over the past 12 months, recording more than Rs 2,400 Crore in revenue, compared to Rs 920 Crore last year, according to a report.
  • The report proves that the userbase of these fantasy sports sector has increased from 2 million in 2016 to 90 million in 2019.
  • More than 50% of transactions on Indian Fantasy Sports platforms are made from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, promoting digital payment literacy and adoption.

Indian Fantasy Sports startups such as Dream11, MPL, HalaPlay, MyTeam11, My11Circle reached new heights over the past few years, according to the recent research by IndiaTech whitepaper citing data from a Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and KPMG 2020 report.

These Online Fantasy Sports (OFS) startups have gained exponential growth in terms of user base and engagement in the past three-four years. They have experienced a 3x increase over the past 12 months, recording more than Rs 2,400 Crore in revenue, compared to Rs 920 Crore last year.

Also read: Gujarat Continues To Be The Most Supportive State For The Startup Ecosystem, Ranking Of States 2019

Incepted in 2017, FIFS is India’s first & only self-regulatory body for Fantasy Sports. The whitepaper highlights that the sector has attracted foreign investment to the tune of around Rs 1,500 crore between the years 2018 and 2019.

The report proves that fantasy sports are one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, and has increased the userbase from 2 million in 2016 to 90 million in 2019. The number of Indian Fantasy Sports platforms has also grown, from less than 10 in 2016 to 140+ in the current market.

Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), which operators deduct on winnings before disbursing the amount to the winners, also surged by over 2X to Rs 250 Crore in the latest fiscal year. The fantasy sports platforms have also disbursed Rs 81 Crore worth salary to about 3,400 workers in FY20 as compared to Rs 43 Crore disbursed last year.

These OFS platforms are also contributing to the overall growth of the country, by paying GST, TDS on winnings, attracting sponsorship through FDI, building IT infrastructure, advertising campaigns, and incremental earnings for OFS winners. More than 50% of transactions on Indian OFS platforms are made from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, promoting digital payment literacy and adoption.

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A survey has also been conducted in which more than 750 people participated. Key findings from the KPMG survey are:

  •  OFS and fantasy sports increases the consumption of real-life sports amongst 55 percent of respondents.
  • A further 65 percent said that there is a direct increase in time spent analyzing, watching, reading, and gathering information about sports. 
  • 32% of all fantasy sports users, engaged with more than one sport on the platform.
  • 77% of fantasy sports users are engaged in cricket contests followed by Football at 47% & Kabaddi at 9%.
  • Fantasy Sports users who engaged with OFS platforms more than 4X a week spent an average ~215 minutes/week watching sports in comparison to users who engaged less than 4 times a week and spent ~160-180 minutes/week watching sports.

“While COVID-19 may result in a temporary blip in the upward trajectory of the fantasy sports segment, the medium to long term growth prospects of the segment remain robust, with the gradual return of international sport,” said, Girish Menon, Head of Media and Entertainment and Partner, KPMG India.

Further, in a post COVID world, with social distancing measures in place, Indian fantasy sports are likely to play an increasingly important role in connecting fans to their favorite sports and increasing fan engagement,” he added.

Also read: Is Dream11, The Official Sponsor of IPL Involved in Betting And Gambling?

In the current calendar year, the leading players in the market such as Dream11, and MPL are also set to raise huge sums from existing and new investors.

While Dream11 is eyeing a $235 million round in a mix of primary and secondary, MPL is in the last legs to scoop up around $50 million from SIG. Besides the heavy investment, fantasy sports platforms have also contributed to the growth in digital transactions through RuPay and UPI.

With no real-time sports, the number of active users on these platforms fell rather sharply. However, as IPL is set to kick off this month, the industry is likely to bounce back. 

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