How Did Dream11 Become India’s First Gaming Unicorn?

Home Blog How Did Dream11 Become India’s First Gaming Unicorn?
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Mumbai-based fantasy gaming start-up Dream11 has made it to the Indian Unicorn Club with an investment from the giant Steadview Capital. According to the company’s statement, this deal includes a secondary sale of shares by Kalaari Capital, Think Investment, and Multiples Equity.

The start-up was established in the year 2008, and soon it has made it to achieve the biggest goal. There have been many challenges; however, those were worth it. After all, this is one of the company’s biggest achievements in such a short period.

Dream11 India was founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in the year 2008. This platform offers its users an amazing fantasy gaming experience in the niches/categories like football, cricket, kabaddi, and National Basketball Association.

Today, the company claims to have 50 million users, whereby it enables them to showcase their passion and knowledge of sports through fantasy gaming. This gaming podium uses pay an entry fee concept, after which the players can take part in paid contests.

The company makes money by charging a platform fee from the total pool so collected from the audience.

The Mechanism Of Dream 11:

Mechanism Of Dream

Every match comprises of many contests. Some of them are free, while others ask you to put your money into the same. When you take part in the paid contests, you get an opportunity to earn money as well.

When you enter a contest, it gives you an opportunity of creating your team. Plus point, Dream11 India lets you enter into multiple contests where you can create multiple teams. The entry fee for paid contests ranges between Rs. 30 to 60, respectively.

It further provides that you can win prizes from Rs. 2 lakhs and above. Who wouldn’t want to invest a sum as smaller as Rs.30 to win the prizes in lakhs further?

This platform also lets 50 percent of the participant pool win prizes. The largest share of the cash prize goes to the top-ranked, and the smallest share goes to the lower ranks.

The advantage here is that your odds of winning on the Dream11 online platform is 50 percent. Such higher odds of winning convince a greater number of audiences to participate in the contest.

Now, if you win money in either of the contests, it gets deposited into your Dream11 wallet. You can withdraw the amount into your bank account according to your preference. The catch here is that the company has introduced a minimum withdrawal amount of Rs.200.

Another clever move by the platform is to engage their users and keep them coming back. As the users will try to play more contests, you can engage them fully until you can balance Rs. 200 from each user. This is an excellent move that has added to the profit-making strategy of the company.

When a contest is over, not all money pooled from the entry amount is distributed among the winners. Dream11 India reserves 15 percent of the amount as platform fee. The remaining money is distributed as prize money.

This is how the company makes profits. The Dream11 valuation of profits using the above strategies is admirable.

Challenges Faced By The Company:

Challenges Faced

It wasn’t easy for the company to make it to the Unicorn Club. Many challenges came in its way, and Dream11 successfully overcame the following challenges using its own business strategy:

  • Legal Challenges:

Today, Dream11 India has become a top online gaming platform in the country. The most challenging hurdle before the company was the legal challenge. The similarity of the Dream11 gaming concept with gambling had made the company undergo many court allegations. However, soon the Indian Judiciary ruled out that fantasy gaming is different from gambling as it is a game of skills, not of chances or probabilities.  

  • Problem With Android App Store:

Problem With Android App Store

This was another problem that this gaming platform had to face throughout its journey to the Unicorn Club. Google does not permit mobile apps that offer cash contests on its Play Store.

The company soon decided to get its first set of users via marketing and search engines. Alongside this, it also made it a point to bank on these initial users to support its own growth. Hence, the concept of ‘Referral Hack’ was introduced.

Under this concept, if an existing user refers to the Dream11 app to a friend, both the parties get Rs.100 in their account as a gift. The biggest catch of this strategy was not the referral scheme but the cash gift.

So, the new user didn’t choose but to pay cash to proceed further with competing. As Rs. 100 was credited in their account, a greater number of players were likely to compete in the cash-based competitions.

  • Problem With Increasing Competition:

The cut-throat competition was challenging initially; however, soon it worked in favor of Dream11. The company invested a huge sum in its marketing campaigns to curb the competition and stand out from others.

This made way for several OFS players to pop up. A user could select any of the OFS services as the offering was almost similar. This became a problem. Dream11 India solved this problem by establishing its partnership with sports bodies to become their official fantasy league partner or sponsor.

This move of the gaming platform also made way for the Dream11 funding. The company’s biggest gift was its tie-up with Indian Premiere League clocking over 400 million viewers every season.

The popularity of Dream11 India doesn’t need an introduction anymore. Apart from letting the users enjoy the game, this platform also allows them to create their own team. This makes them feel as if they are a part of the game.

The reward-earning benefit further convinces all the enthusiasts to make the most of this opportunity. Furthermore, the Dream11 app has made it possible for all the gaming enthusiasts to access this platform on their mobile phones, adding more to its ever-existing popularity.

The future of fantasy sport in India is bright. This sector has already grown by a fair 119.69 percent and generated a total of Rs. 67 crores.

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