[YS Exclusive] Fantasy Akhada in talks to raise fresh funds

Gurugram-based startup Fantasy Akhada is one of the newest additions to India’s cluttered fantasy gaming ecosystem. It will use the funds to expand its sports streaming arm among other services.
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Fantasy Akhada, endorsed by cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, is in talks to raise fresh funds, two people aware of the development told YourStory

The Gurugram-based fantasy gaming platform aims to raise a Series B funding round between $40-50 million. “Fantasy Akhada will use the funds to expand the company’s sports streaming arm (VU Sports), among other products,” one of the sources said, requesting anonymity. 

Existing investors, including Prime Securities, a Mumbai-based investment banking firm, will also participate in the round. YourStory could not immediately identify the lead investor. 

A query sent to Fantasy Akhada and Prime Securities did not elicit any response at the time of publishing this story. 

Why fantasy games?

This development round comes at a time when fantasy sports have become a recreational activity and find more takers in a country, which will have one billion smartphone users by 2026.

As per Deloitte, the sports fantasy games market is at Rs 34,600 crore, expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%. 

Founded in January 2020 by Sumit Jha, Amit Purohit, Sahil Ahuja, Pratik Gosar, Amit Bhardwaj, who handled products at Niva Bupa Health Insurance, and Ankit Upreti — the idea for Fantasy Akhada germinated when the founders, also hardcore football fans, started following the season-long Fantasy Football League.  

The platform, which lets users assemble a team of their favourite players for an entire Premier League Season, got the Manchester United and Arsenal fans to build something similar in India. 

However, since the fantasy sports market is extremely crowded—with up to 180 startups operating in the space—the founders decided to make Fantasy Akhada more service-focused. 

Run by Super Six Sports Gaming Pvt Ltd, the startup also onboarded popular cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle as its brand ambassador in 2020. Fantasy Akhada also raised Rs 1.2 crore from the legendary cricket commentator.    

In 2021, after its Rs 5 crore venture round led by Prime Securities, followed by a $2 million capital infusion in the same year, the fantasy sports platform ventured into VU Sport. 

Currently, a YouTube channel, VU Sport lets viewers do sports analyses, and discussions, and stream a few leagues. The first video was posted about six months ago on the channel, and later, it started streaming cricket leagues, including the Nepal T20 cup.  

At present, Fantasy Akhada competes with Mumbai-based Dream 11, and Nazara Technologies, among others.

(The copy has been updated to correct a company name and the featured image.)

Edited by Suman Singh