In the series of interviews with market leaders, change-makers, and innovators, we bring our next interview with an entrepreneur and visionary, Mr. Pratik Kumar, Co-Founder, Faboom
1. How did you decide to onboard Bhuvan for Faboom as he is the first Non-Gaming celeb to be associated with a Fantasy app?
Bhuvan Bam is hugely popular amongst youth across India and the majority of fantasy users are young people who like to spend most of their time on YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms. These youngsters are fantasy sports audiences and as a sports fantasy platform, we constantly want to reach the right target audience. We have always admired BB for doing things differently and disrupting the content space in a huge way and associating with him during this IPL season makes him the right choice for Faboom.
2 – Among numerous Daily Fantasy Apps and in such a competitive market, how does Faboom differentiate itself?
Nearly all fantasy platforms have a single format where you choose 11 players and then choose a Captain and a Vice-captain. What we observed was there are three issues with the existing format. If your captain or vice-captain doesn’t perform, you will hardly ever win. In other words, the dependence on two players is high. Secondly, the chances of your team being unique is very less. Thirdly, if you are not available to make the team in the last 30 minutes before the match (after toss), you miss out on participating.
Keeping these things in mind, we came up with two innovative formats rank fantasy and boost fantasy. In both the formats all 11 players in your team become important. In rank fantasy, you rank all your 11 players and in boost fantasy, you can apply different multipliers(boost) to all your 11 players. So the dependence on two players goes away and also the possible combinations of making your unique teams increase. Lastly, boost fantasy is a pre-toss format, so you can make a team whenever you want to at your own convenience and not wait for the teams to be announced.
Both rank and boost fantasy are increasing the skill levels of the fantasy sport and reducing variance for the players and that is what differentiates us from other apps.
3 – How much has the Indian Gaming Market matured in the last 4 years?
The Indian online gaming industry is growing at a very fast space especially the Real-Money Gaming (RMG) industry which caters to skill games like Poker, Rummy, Fantasy, etc. Just to give you a sense, according to a KPMG report fantasy sports registered a 212% CAGR growth in users between 2016 and 2019. With this rapid growth, the industry is also maturing, whether it is payments, scalable infrastructures, strict user KYCs or responsible gaming.
4 – With the Real Money Gaming industry growing, it comes with its own set of challenges with the regulations and laws of the land. What regulatory changes do you suggest to amplify the growth of Daily Fantasy in India?
All RMG operators have only one wish – for the government to regulate the industry. With regulations, there will strong guard rails for what games come under skill-games, there will be clear tax policies and things like responsible gaming won’t be an option but a norm.
Until that happens, the industry has federation bodies like AIGF, FIFS, and TORF which are putting charters in place that help the industry move towards self-regulation
5 – With IPL 2020 kicking in without any crowds and public gathering events, how will it impact the online and Fantasy Apps engagement?
During these unprecedented times, people are staying at home and some are turning to game platforms for entertainment. I am sure during this IPL season, fantasy sports being a highly immersive fan engagement platform will experience a strong surge in demand by the Indian sports fans and the industry should see huge growth in users.
6 – What are the big plans and goals for Faboom for the next 60 days and year ahead?
In the year ahead, Faboom aims to disrupt the fantasy sports industry with its product innovations and become the fastest-growing fantasy app.
7 – Retaining first-time users to repeatedly participate on the platform is one of the biggest challenges DFS companies face. How are you addressing this at Faboom?
If your formats is engaging and require a lot of skill, users will always come back. We also have worked a lot on the UI/UX of the app to give our users a great experience.
Fantasy sports users are not only playing during big competitions like IPL or World Cup but now are using their skill to play many other leagues. Faboom already has added Football and Kabaddi and we plan to add hockey, basketball, volleyball, etc. so that fantasy sports are not solely dependent on cricket seasons for the users to come back.
8 – What does it take to grow a company in a space where the competition has multifold deeper pockets?
A nimble and smart approach towards marketing helps a company to grow. A brand should know every possible way to reach out to the right target audience. We are doing exactly that whether it is tying up with Bhuvan Bam or by getting Baba Sehgal to make an anthem for us. Our team constantly looks for growth hacks and innovations. Our rank and boost fantasy formats are a result of this.
Team Next Big Brand extends heartiest wishes to Pratik Kumar and the amazing team at Faboom. Kudos to him for such an amazing and insightful interview.
You can check our other Interviews here.