Canada-based i3 Interactive Inc picks 51 pc stake in fantasy sports startup LivePools for $7.5M
Mumbai-based LivePools, a fantasy sports platform earlier backed by actor Dino Morea, has announced that Canada-based online and mobile gaming company i3 Interactive Inc has picked up 51 percent stake in the startup for shares worth $7.5 million.
Launched in late-2017 by brothers, serial entrepreneurs, and sports enthusiasts Gaurav and Vickram Assomull, fantasy sports startup LivePools offers a skill-based sports predictor platform to online gamers, and lets them earn real cash rewards based on their teams’ on-field performances.
LivePools said in a statement that this investment will further help accelerate the platform's commitment to grow and provide a holistic experience to its consumer in the current fantasy sports market in India. The startup claims that in the past two years, LivePools has grown to 1.5 million registered users driven by marquee sporting events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL 2019, and the Ashes.
Entering into the sports-heavy year of 2021, LivePools aims to leverage these sporting events combined with extensive investment in product improvements and increased prize pools providing unparalleled value to its customers as it plans to extend its reach to over 10 million users by 2022.
In a statement, LivePools said that "with industry-leading prize pools, events and other exciting offerings tied to the jammed packed sporting calendar for IPL, India’s T20 Internationals and the Big Bash, along with Kabaddi and Football, including the Indian Super League, LivePools is confident it will exceed its ambitious targets."
Commenting on the deal, investment management from i3 Interactive Inc said,
"With India being one of largest and fastest growing online gaming markets in the world, we are very excited to partner with LivePools. When looking for an investment, our first priorities are the team and the technology. We found both in spades with Gaurav and Vickram, and the product they have built with LivePools. With a first-class team and an exciting product, we are planning on doubling down on investment to ensure our customers have the premier fantasy gaming experience India has to offer."
According to the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and KPMG, gross revenues of online fantasy sports operators stood at Rs 2,400 crore in FY20, compared to Rs 920 crore in FY19 — up almost three times year-on-year. The market for fantasy sports in India has been on a phenomenal growth trajectory for years now. With rapid internet penetration and adoption on a scale unseen previously, there are hundreds of millions of potential customers moving online, looking for esports entertainment.
i3 Interactive Inc further added that through this acquisition i3 continues with its vision to build the best in market product suite in India, following on from its launch of BLITZPOKER mid-last year. LivePools added that it will continue to increase its engagement and consumer count in the country. It will further roll out additional product offerings and update newer elements in the app and desktop website for better consumer interaction and a smooth user experience.