First Captains
Charlie Zhang, AGTech

AGTech adds fantasy football to Paytm First Captains platform

AGTech has added new football games to daily fantasy sports (DFS) site First Captains, which sits on the popular Paytm First Games platform.

Paytm First Games is a joint venture between AGTech, a leading technology and content provider for both the lottery and mobile games/entertainment markets in China, and Paytm, India’s largest mobile payments company.

Charlie Zhang, Vice President of AGTech, said that a combination of three of India’s favourite sports for fantasy sports products (cricket, football and kabaddi) demonstrates the fast-growing operational, technical capabilities and content expertise of Paytm First Games. 

To highlight the growing popularity of kabaddi, the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) released a study this month on ‘Fantasy Sports: Measuring its impact on actual sports consumption’ in partnership with research agency Nielsen.

Anwar Shirpurwala, CEO at IFSG, said in this study: “Alongside cricket which remains our most watched sport, we are witnessing increased viewership of the advent shorter format sports leagues like IPL, Indian Super League (ISL), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). 

“The fantasy sports platforms are enabling casual fans to engage with the sports they love becoming core sports fans. The growth of the Online Fantasy Sports Gaming platforms is resulting in a growth in the viewership of various formats of sports, which contributes to the growth of sports ecosystem of India.”

Zhang added: “As the technical service provider of Paytm First Games, AGTech will work closely with Paytm to further engage fans in India with sports excitement and technology innovations to elevate the passion and satisfy the market.

“By broadening the fantasy sports categories and consummating the business model, Paytm First Games has become one of the best choices for international games to enter into India. The success of First Captains in India’s fantasy sports market has increased our confidence to endeavor into other Southeast Asian markets.”

Formerly known as Gamepind, Paytm First Games was launched in 2018 having raised $16 million in funding from One97 Communications (owner of Paytm – the platform’s operator) and Alibaba Group’s AGTech Holdings as the platform provider. 

It was reported by the Economic Times of India this month that the JV had raised a further $20 million from the two parent firms to support an ambition to “scale up its operations, invest in technology and expand its user-base through various marketing activities”. 

Supported by two giants of China and India, Paytm First Games now covers 350 million registered users playing both paid and free games such as Rummy and Fantasy Cricket. It cites Chinese game content and operational support as significant resource advantages. 

The platform claims to have achieved more than 10 million monthly transactions with an annual revenue run rate of $50 million.

The aforementioned KPMG/IFSG report found that there are now 20 million fantasy gamers in India, compared with just two million in 2016, while the country’s online fantasy sports market is projected to touch $5 billion in the next two years. 

In fact, according to a research report formulated by Market Study Report LLC, over the next five years the global fantasy sports market will register a 13.7 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in terms of revenue. The global market size is projected to reach $26400 million by 2024 from $13900 million in 2019.

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