Cricket is among the world's second most popular sport with a fan base of approximately 2 billion around the world, misses out on user engagement to keep the fans connected to the sport socially.
It's unfortunate that other popular sports like soccer, NFL, and NBA , provide a great user engagement platform in the form of ‘Fantasy gaming’ in their respective sports but there isn't anything significant for cricket. It's fantasy platform is still very nascent with less than one million users that play fantasy sporadically.
Irregular seasons and other difficulties plaguing Cricket Fantasy league
The current fantasy platform for cricket doesn't cater to the needs of hungry cricket fans as it lacks user engagement. All the other sports (soccer, NFL, NBA etc.) have a fantasy model where the user selects different players and forms a team and plays in a league with friends and other fantasy gamers. However, that doesn't work in cricket as cricket calendar is very disparate with different teams playing different bilateral series at different times of the year and there is no concept of a regular season. Club cricket is getting popular but every country has its own season for club cricket and not all the popular players participate in club sport.
Why cricket is like no other sport
A game of cricket can turn on its head in just one ball! A fantastic case in point would be the match between Royal Challenger Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings when Ravindra Jadeja won the match for Chennai as a result of a ‘No ball’ bowled by R P Singh.
Since cricket is an event based sport where there are multiple outcomes possible for every ball bowled, it becomes all the more interesting for a cricket fan to anticipate and wait to know what the outcome was. Cricket fans are used to playing the prediction game with family and friends as there isn’t any fantasy gaming platform to support their prediction gaming.
Cricking is a social fantasy platform that aims to solve the problem by providing cricket fans a chance to play real time ball by ball fantasy prediction for live matches with family and friends. It aims to provide the best user experience for an avid cricket fan to follow the match live and at the same time engage in playing fantasy prediction game.
USPs of Cricking
Cricking combines the experience of following live cricket and playing fantasy cricket together in one place. Once the user is in the app, he or she can follow live scores and at the same time play live fantasy prediction without having to get out of the app. Almost all other apps provide only either one of the services, thus frustrating the user.
Throughout the duration of the match the user can keep predicting every ball in every over in the match.
Based on internal tests conducted, the team also claims that their product provides the fastest live ball by ball score updates compared to any of their competitors. The app also has an additional feature that provides voice enabled ball by ball score announcements for users on the go, who are unable to glance at their screens.
Sathish Chittibabu (Co-founder & CEO) - was in Information Security consulting with a Big 4 consulting company. He has lead and delivered complex/critical projects for Fortune 500 clients and brings immense experience in project execution and taking a project to the finish line. With his passion for leadership and people management, he maintains the focus for the Cricking team to create a niche in the market place.
Karthi Jayakumar (Co-founder & COO) quit his promising career to follow his passion for technology and the sport of cricket to start Cricking. Coming from a no-nonsense operations and leadership background, he brings a different pragmatic perspective to solve problems.
Hari Krishna Anandan (Chief Technical Architect) has always believed in providing practical technology solutions rather than just theoretical concepts. He quit his corporate career to dabble into the world of mobile technology. He leads the product development team.
Karthik Ganesan (Chief Marketing Officer) - His love for cricket resonates with any other passionate cricket fan out there on the streets of every nook and corner of India. He is the brain behind innovative marketing strategies to take Cricking to every other passionate cricket fan out there.
Cricking’s startup story
It was a real need as cricket fans for a fantasy gaming platform and the lack of a proper existing platform that pushed them to build their own platform. Sports industry as a vertical is still untapped for products and services. Even though it's an ever green industry - people follow sports no matter what the economic, political or geographical situations; there haven’t been any significant products for passionate fans.
Learnings along the way
When in doubt or trouble, don’t hesitate to ask for help
When the team started up they didn't know that they needed to start small with technical infrastructure. So they subscribed to bigger cloud plans and quickly spent lot of money before they could realize their blunder.
Then one of their friends suggested that they write to the customer service of their cloud provider explaining their situation. Hesitatingly they wrote an email and to their big surprise, the company offered to refund almost 90% of the subscription charges they paid to them in the early months.
“For a startup it was big money and we realized that things happen only when you ask for help. And the world is very encouraging and supporting of startups!”
On the marketing front they learnt that there are many creative ways to do frugal marketing that's very effective. They are experimenting those learnings in their current marketing strategy execution, and hoping it will work out for them.
Letting unproductive people go
As a startup every moment was a challenging moment for the team -- be it meeting a deadline or managing the finances. But one thing that stands out was their bad experience working with part timers. They had full time jobs and wanted to do part time work for the money. But when the opportunity was presented, they couldn't stand up to their commitment and deliver results. It was very challenging for the team to reach out to them over email or phone and get the deliverables completed on time. Finally the team had to let them go and do everything in-house.
“The opportunity to make a difference in people's life is a huge inspiration for us. At Cricking, we are not solving world hunger but solving world's cricket hunger.”
People generally watch cricket with family & friends for entertainment and as a way to relieve their stress. Cricking aims to provide a unique fantasy gaming platform for this purpose.
The team just released the Android version of the app and is working hard to get the iOS version released shortly. They have a few features in the pipeline to make Cricking more exciting for cricket fans.
The app achieved over 5000 + downloads in a few days with 100+ five star rating and also trended on the Google play store in the gaming category. You can download it here.