Dangal Games to venture into fantasy sports, casual gaming with new product launches

Dangal Games CEO & Founder Varun Mahna expects the number of fantasy game users to grow from 10 crore to 80 crore in the next two to three years

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Updated: Apr 7, 2021 2:03 PM

Xeta Networks, the company that owns games like Poker Dangal and Rummy Dangal, is venturing into fantasy sports with Fantasy Dangal. The launch of the game coincides with the Indian Premier League (IPL), which kicks off on 9th April. IPL is a big driver of user growth for fantasy sports platforms.

The company also plans to launch a casual gaming app called Dangal Games which will have multiple games residing in the app. To drive the next phase of expansion, the company also plans to raise funding from the market in the second quarter of FY22.

Co-founded by Varun Mahna, Varun Puri, Shashwat Jain, Karan Gandhi, and Manan Sobti, Dangal Games had recently raised $1 million in Series A round from an undisclosed strategic investor. The company had raised Rs 2.5 crore in the first round of funding from an angel investor in July 2018.

Dangal Games CEO & Founder Varun Mahna said that there is a huge potential in the Indian fantasy gaming space. He expects the number of fantasy game users to grow from 10 crore to 80 crore in the next two to three years.

"We are coming out with our first product in non-card space which is Fantasy Dangal. We believe that there is huge potential for fantasy sports in India. Everyone knows fantasy sports due to the rise of Dream11 and the kind of funding they have been able to raise. But as a sector, it is still very niche and too young," he said.

"India being a crazy sports-loving country the number of users who play fantasy games is only 10 crore. We expect that number to be 80 crore in the next two to three years. So this is the kind of opportunity that is there in the market and we want to capitalise on this growth story for fantasy and acquire a significant market share and user base in the next 2-3 years. That is the vision with which we are entering the fantasy gaming business."

Mahna expects fantasy sports to undergo a lot of changes as the sector grows and continues to expand. "We have always believed that there is clutter at the bottom and space at the top. Fantasy sports is synonymous with cricket but we have a firm belief that Indians follow all sorts of sports. We have lovers of football, hockey, kabaddi and there is space for these games to now start prospering in India. We want to utilise the current level of love that Indians have for sports and then translate that into a very loyal user base for Fantasy Dangal."

After Fantasy Dangal, the company will be coming up with a new offering called Dangal Games which is scheduled to launch in June. Dangal Games will house all of the company's gaming IPs in a single app. However, Poker and Rummy Dangal will continue to exist as standalone products. Dangal Games will have 20 games at launch. Currently, the product is being tested.

"With Dangal Games, we are offering our users a single-stop solution for all their gaming needs. It will be a single app from which users will have access to multiple games and products. From a single user, users can play any game of their choice. Be it poker, rummy, fantasy, or casual games as per their choice," Mahna said.

The idea behind Dangal Games is to open the company's product offerings to the entire Indian landscape and ecosystem. "Because for Poker and Rummy you will require certain skillsets to be able to play the game. With fantasy, you need a particular amount of interest in sports and in particular games. With the casual games coming in that would make the entire Indian landscape our potential audience."

The company follows a service fee-based revenue model for all its products. "We charge a small amount of money which is being raised through wagers on poker and rummy and we charge a small entry fee for the various contests and tournaments for fantasy. Dangal Games will also follow a similar model as fantasy. For Poker and Rummy, we charge 3-5% of the amount wagered and for Fantasy Dangal it will be 10-12% of the entry fee on the contest. On Dangal Games, we will have a different service fee for each product. The range will vary from 3% to 18%."

It doesn't have an ad model as it is not user-friendly. "We don't have ads as we don't want users to get distracted during gameplay. For us time spent and engagement is a key factor."

Commenting on the fundraising plans, Mahna said, "For our current operations, we are adequately funded but we will go to the market in the next quarter for the next round of fundraising for our future growth plans in July- August."

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