LivePools Pvt. Ltd, a startup whose online platform offers fantasy games based on skill, has raised funding from Dan Bilzerian, a professional poker player and Instagram influencer.
The Mumbai-based startup said in a statement Bilzerian's investment marks his financial entry into India. It didn't disclose the amount.
The company claims it has one million registered users on the platform. It is aiming to hit five million users by the start of next year’s Indian Premier League cricket tournament.
Company co-founder Gaurav Assomull said that Bilzerian was a good fit for it because of his large following in India. “He believes in the team and our plan for LivePools; who better to associate with than a man who understands the role of skill in gaming,” Assomull said.
Bilzerian said he had been monitoring the Indian market for a while. “I have evaluated the growth plan and strategy for the company (LivePools) and I am excited about the association,” he said.
The startup was co-founded by Assomull and Vickram Assomull. Gaurav is also the co-founder of Intergen Energy Ltd, an infrastructure company that focuses on water and sewage treatment. Vickram is the founder of Duxbury Security, a security solutions company based in Nigeria.
LivePools provides its users with all the statistics they need to make selections and predictions for matches and games in sports including cricket, football and kabaddi. According to its website, it also allows its users to create their own challenges and invite their friends to play along in those competitions.
Apart from Bilzerian, actor Dino Morea is also an investor in the company.
Deals in the fantasy and sports gaming space
Interest in the fantasy and sports gaming space has burgeoned of late, especially with the establishment and popularity of leagues for different sports such as the Indian Premier League and the Pro Kabaddi League.
The biggest beneficiary of investor capital has been the Mumbai-based gaming firm Dream11 Fantasy Pvt. Ltd, which counts cricketer MS Dhoni as an ambassador. In April, Multiples PE and Vani Kola-led Kalaari Capital sold part of their stake in Dream11 to hedge fund Steadview Capital in a transaction that valued the gaming company at more than $1 billion.
Another firm that has received a significant amount of capital is HalaPlay Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which in March said that it had raised Rs 40 crore (around $5 million) in a Series A round from mobile game developer Nazara Technologies Ltd and casino gaming company Delta Corp Ltd.