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We’ve got four important industry updates for you. BharatPe’s former co-founder Ashneer Grover has launched the much-anticipated fantasy gaming app CrickPe through his new venture, Third Unicorn Pvt. Ltd. On Thursday, Grover tweeted to announce the formal launch of the cricket-centric app.
Sports and gaming exchange portal FairPlay has signed on rapper-singer Badshah as its new brand ambassador. Badshah joins other A-league celebrities like former England captain Eoin Morgan, former South African international cricketer AB de Villiers, and Bollywood stars Sanjay Dutt and Jacqueline Fernandes as the new face of the brand.
Gaming platform Junglee Games has appointed Kapil Rathee as its new co-founder. Rathee, who had joined the company as Vice-president (Product) in 2015, was promoted to the role of President in 2018.
Absolute Sports, the parent company of SportsKeeda, announced on March 23 that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire a 73.27% stake in the U.S.-based news platform for NFL and college football, Pro Football Network LLC (PFN).
BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover’s New Venture Third Unicorn Formally Launches Fantasy App CrickPe
Last month, Ashneer Grover, the former co-founder of BharatPe, announced that his new venture Third Uniorn would be launching a new fantasy gaming app, CrickPe, soon. Grover, who started the company in partnership with his wife, Madhuri Jain, formally entered into the fantasy gaming segment on Thursday, March 23, by launching the cricket-centric app.
Sharing the links for downloading the CrickPe app on Google Play Store and Apple Store, Grover said – “CRICKPE! Biggest revolution in Cricket since IPL – only fantasy game paying cricketers for performance! Where you win – cricketer wins – cricket wins !!”
Biggest revolution in Cricket since IPL – only fantasy game paying cricketers for performance !
Where you win – cricketer wins – cricket wins !!https://t.co/virVGj27DThttps://t.co/Jl0mu4lFXO@crickpe_app pic.twitter.com/uQuxXEnk4c
— Ashneer Grover (@Ashneer_Grover) March 23, 2023
The app launch comes right before the 2023 Indian Premier League season that begins on March 31.
CrickPe is a real-money gaming app that permits players above 18 years to create a virtual team of cricket players and compete in paid contests to earn cash prizes based on the players’ performance in actual games. The platform will charge a 10% platform fee of the total winnings received for any public or private contest, though it also lets users enter free contests.
The app’s page also declares that the game will give away a percentage of every game pot to real cricketers, based on their actual performance in the match, in proportion to their fantasy points.
CrickPe users can also send rewards of up to ₹1 lakh in a financial year to a cricketer, but it would be up to the cricketer to accept or reject the same. If the cricketer accepts the reward, it will be subject to applicable taxes and a processing fee of 10%. As a promotional offer, Crickpe has announced that it will not collect any processing fee until June this year.
The app’s terms and conditions state – “It is hereby stated that we are not acting as agents of cricketers and are not under a binding contract to collect any money on their behalf. CrickPe shall solely be acting as your agent in offering this cash reward.”
Fairplay Onboards Rapper-Singer Badshah as Brand Ambassador
Popular Indian rapper-singer Badshah has been onboarded as the new brand ambassador by the offshore online betting site Fairplay. The sign-up comes just a month after Fairplay roped in actor Jacqueline Fernandez as its brand ambassador.
Fairplay is a sports and gaming exchange licensed by Curacao authorities. In an official statement, the company said, “India, in the last few years, has seen a massive increase in popularity and demand for sports and online gaming. More and more sports enthusiasts have begun to discover the many advantages and ease of wagering responsibly online. Badshah’s electric energy and his adrenaline-pumped personality make him an indisputable fit for us. We are delighted to have Badshah as a part of the family. His partnership with us will undoubtedly be mutually beneficial, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds.”
Talking about the collaboration, Badshah, whose real name is Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia, said, “I am passionate about sports and games and the excitement it brings. I am excited about this partnership with FairPlay and believe responsible gaming can be a delightful experience. Needless to say, FairPlay is the best in the game.”
Fairplay may have signed up Badshah, but it happens to be among the companies that ran into trouble with the Indian government last year. In June 2022, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) issued an advisory directing newspapers, private TV channels, and digital news platforms to refrain from running advertisements of online betting platforms.
Citing the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Cable TV Network Regulation Act 1995, and the IT Rules 2021, the Ministry advisory stated that platforms like PariMatch, Fairplay, Betway, Wolf777, and 1XBet were promoting betting and gambling under the guise of news and since online gambling is illegal in almost all parts of the country, advertising these betting platforms is not allowed.
Since the government’s move, sites like Fairplay have resorted to aggressively promoting their platform on social media and have been roping in big celebrities to attract more players.
Junglee Games Honors Kapil Rathee with Co-Founder Position
In recognition of his exceptional contributions to Junglee Games, Kapil Rathee has been elevated to the position of co-founder in the company. He has been a vital member of the senior leadership team, and this promotion is in honor of his dedication and valuable contributions.
Rathee’s impressive career at Junglee Games began in 2015 when he joined as the Vice President of Products. In 2017, he was promoted to Chief Product Officer and then assumed the role of President in 2018. Prior to this, he worked as a strategy and business consultant and also founded TapAndEat, an F&B software firm. He is also one of the directors of PokerStars India’s parent company, Sachiko Gaming Private Limited.
Founder and CEO of Junglee Games, Ankush Gera, said, “Kapil and I have been working together for the last eight years and have been looking to build upon opportunities to strengthen our partnership and collective impact further. Kapil’s contribution to Junglee Games has been phenomenal, and his dedication deserves this recognition.”
“I couldn’t be happier for him, and I look forward to seeing him grow in this new role. With the industry witnessing rapid growth, at Junglee we are confident about our approach towards investing and rewarding exceptional human capital within the organization,” the CEO said.
“I’m excited and privileged to continue my incredible journey at Junglee Games in this new role. While I’ve always operated from an ownership mindset, it is heartening to see the growth-centric culture in the organization,” Rathee said on his promotion.
“This elevation is an opportunity to build from a more strategic vantage point. As we continue to see the incredible scale in the business, my focus is to accelerate our current trajectory and make Junglee’s brand synonymous with skill gaming,” he added.
Established in 2012 in San Francisco, Junglee Games is a subsidiary of the $30 billion Flutter Entertainment Group, also the parent company of PokerStars. The company has over 700 employees and operates well-known brands such as Junglee Rummy, Howzat, Poker, PokerStars India, and Eatme.io.
Sportskeeda Acquires NFL Publisher Pro Football Network
Absolute Sports, a leading player in sports news and analysis through its subsidiary Sportskeeda has announced the acquisition of a 73.27% stake in Pro Football Network LLC (PFN), a prominent US news portal for NFL and college football. This marks Absolute Sports’ first acquisition in the US sports media market, as it seeks to strengthen its existing user base and offerings in the country.
The all-cash transaction, subject to closing conditions, includes the acquisition of a 73.3% stake for US$1.82 million (₹16 Crores) through a primary infusion of capital and secondary stock purchases. PFN had revenues of US$2.1 million (₹17.5 Crores) in CY22. Absolute Sports will use its cash reserves to fund the transaction. The acquisition is expected to bring synergistic value to both companies, allowing for extended coverage of the US sports market.
With over five million monthly active users (MAU), PFN is ranked third among the top NFL-focused media sites in the US, according to SimilarWeb Rankings as of January 2023.
Speaking on the development, Ajay Pratap Singh, CEO of Absolute Sports, said, “We are delighted to welcome Pro Football Network as the newest member of the Absolute Sports family. This marks the beginning of our journey to create a comprehensive portfolio of sports media brands. Our flagship brand, Sportskeeda, has achieved phenomenal success, with an increase from 15 million MAUs in 2019 to over 76 million in 2023, all while maintaining highly profitable operations. With this acquisition, we are happy that we have kick-started our M&A growth engine.”
“We are confident that this will create massive value for our audiences and stakeholders alike, and we look forward to pursuing multiple acquisitions in the near future to further strengthen our position in the sports media landscape,” Singh added.
Commenting on the acquisition, Nitish Mittersain, CEO and Joint MD of Nazara Technologies, said, “The PFN acquisition kickstarts an inorganic growth strategy in addition to the rapid organic growth in revenues and profitability that the company has been delivering. Looking forward to the next set of exciting products and content the team will bring to sports fans all over the world.”
“This is a huge day for Pro Football Network. For quite some time, we were looking for the perfect partner, and Absolute Sports is just that,” said Matt Cannata, Founder and CEO of Pro Football Network.
“Their strategic investment and the resources they will provide us will supercharge Pro Football Network to levels beyond one’s imagination and allow us to compete with the biggest brands in the sports media landscape,” added Cannata.
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