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Former BharatPe co-founder and MD Ashneer Grover and his wife Madhuri Jain’s new venture, Third Unicorn, is looking to set foot in the Indian fantasy gaming market with the launch of a new cricket-based app, CrickPe. The app is still in closed beta testing and will likely launch in the next few weeks before the 2023 IPL.
Vodafone Idea (Vi) has expanded its portfolio of mobile game offerings on its recently launched Vi Games by adding esports. In partnership with Gamerji, Vi Games plans to offer many popular esports titles to Vi users at no extra cost.
BharatPe Co-founder Ashneer Grover to Enter Fantasy Gaming With CrickPe
The former BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover and his wife Madhuri Jain’s new venture, Third Unicorn, plans to enter India’s fantasy gaming market with a new app – CrickPe.
The app launch was unveiled right before the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL), which begins on March 31. As the name suggests, the new venture, CrickPe, is a cricket-focused app and will facilitate players to participate in different contests by creating private groups or playing with real cricketers to compete for cash prizes. Players can also pit their skills in free contests for fun.
As a cricket-specific app, the platform will directly compete with existing fantasy gaming platforms like MPL, My11Circle, and Dream11.
One of the sources close to the company said – “The company has been working on the app for the past four months and has decided to launch it in the next few weeks. The app is in closed beta mode and will soon open to the public.”
In a LinkedIn post last month, Grover gave strong hints on the upcoming launch: “We at Third Unicorn have been quietly and peacefully building a market-shaking business. Bootstrapped. Without limelight. And we are doing things differently. Very differently.”
Currently, Grover and his wife are embroiled in a legal feud with BharatPe over several alleged financial irregularities that emerged in January last year. In December 2022, BharatPe filed civil and criminal suits against Grover and Madhuri Jain, alongside a complaint with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW). Before leaving the BharatPe Board, Grover also appeared in the inaugural season of Shark Tank India and has, since been vocal through social media collaborations and interviews. He has also published a book called “Doglapan: The Hard Truth about Life and Start-Ups.”
Vodafone Idea Teams With Gamerji to Expand Presence in Esports
Hot on the heels of launching Vi Games, Vodafone Idea (Vi) on February 27 announced the expansion of its mobile gaming offerings through Vi Games to esports. For this, the company has partnered with esports startup Gamerji.
Through the partnership, Vi Games has launched an esports platform on the Vi App that will run popular esports games of different genres, including Battle Royale, cricket, racing, and action role-playing titles. The esports games will be available to Vi users at no extra cost.
Some popular esports games Vi Games will offer include Free Fire Call of Duty Mobile, Asphalt 9, New State, World Cricket Championship 3, and Clash Royale.
Elaborating on the development, company CMO Avneesh Khosla said, “Growing affordability of smartphones and faster data speeds have contributed to the immense popularity of mobile gaming in India. With 5G in India, the gaming industry is likely to grow manifold. Mobile gaming has been a major focus area of growth for Vi’s content strategy in the digital era. Adding esports to our gaming catalog was a natural progression towards making Vi App the preferred destination for all gaming enthusiasts. We are confident that our offering will strike the right chord with gaming lovers, particularly youth.”
Founder & CEO Gamerji Soham Thacker said, “Gamerji has always strived to give the best online tournament experience to aspiring gamers in India and help them showcase their skills. Our association with Vi will enable us to provide the experience to the larger gaming community via the Vi App and help establish esports as one of the primary competitive sports in the country.”
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