PlayCKC raises $2,00,000 in seed funding led by Freeflow Venture Builders

Live sports gaming platform, PlayCKC has raised over $200,000 in seed funding. The round was led by Freeflow Venture Builders. It is noteworthy that Freeflow has committed ₹79 crores in its recent investments in various emerging startups.

The other investors in PlayCKC Interactive Pvt Ltd include Sanjay Nagi, Sharan Parikh, Rajat Singhla and Harish Menon. JSW Sports and India Accelerator (IA) also have an equity stake in the company. PlayCKC was one of the four chosen startups out of 200 startup applicants in the first sports-tech cohort by IA and JSW Sports.

Fans have made over 9,35,000 predictions on the platform so far. The registered userbase stands at a little over 50,000 today.

Swapnil, co-founder & CEO of PlayCKC, shared, “At PlayCKC, we are creating a new segment of sports gamers as we strongly believe that sports fans deserve gaming beyond traditional fantasy sports.”

Mona Singh, Co-founder of India Accelerator said, “We recognise the need for responsible gaming companies in the continuously emerging sports gaming industry. PlayCKC fits in perfectly with its mission to offer fan engagement that aligns with the real-world behaviour of sports fans.”

Founded by Swapnil Manish, Anuradha Sinha and Sanket Khemuka, the startup came into being in 2020 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that affected live sports signficantly. PlayCKC is a live sports gaming platform that caters to the fan’s need to engage during live action. While fantasy gaming has been popular for a while now, and even betting has its space, PlayCKC’s attempt at offering live gaming experience to fans is a first in the sports gaming space.

Aaquib Hussain, Founding Partner at Freeflow Venture Builders said this of their investment, “Our bets on the founders and the culture is a manifestation of our achieved clarity with their vision, execution and cumulative abilities. Here’s wishing a people approach of Growth with the much needed transparency in the sports gaming space!”

PlayCKC offers live gaming for cricket currently. It will be launching gaming for Football for the FIFA World Cup Football next month. PlayCKC is served as an app via Google Play Store, Apple AppStore and its website. It offers two games: PREDICT and SELECT. PREDICT offers an MCQ format where a fan gets to make predictions while a cricket match is happening. The questions are generated on the go, based on LIVE data. SELECT is a simplified fantasy format where a fan is required to pick just six players, and predict the outcome of the match. The games, the company said, are meant for everyday sports fans and are built to be non-intimidating so that anyone comfortable using WhatsApp could play.

Sanket Khemuka, co-founder & CTO of PlayCKC, spoke about the company’s core philosophy, “Sports fans would enjoy gaming more as fans, not as selectors. In our LIVE prediction game, the questions are not pre-decided but actually generated on the go, based on LIVE data. This is unheard of in the sports gaming space. We have built a proprietary question engine that is constantly evolving.”

PREDICT is free to play. And SELECT has both free and real-money gaming versions. The rewards experience on the platform is meant for free-play as well. PlayCKC has partnered with Amazon Pay, Swiggy and Xoxoday for rewards. In the real-money version, the entry starts at ₹2, the lowest in the industry. The company said that it is focused on building for sports fans who are sachet consumers. The scoring system, it said, is devised to be fair to all gamers, regardless of the time and money they can invest.

India has over 460m viwerership for IPL, and yet less than 25% have entered the world of fantasy cricket. This leaves room for gaming that sports fans can relate with. Anuradha Sinha, co-founder & COO of PlayCKC, offered, “Sports gaming is an exciting space that is abuzz with fantasy sports at the moment. We believe disruption is on the way. The future of sports gaming wouldn’t just be about a gamer putting in money in the hope of making more money. The most basic real-word fan behaviour is to cheer, jeer, scream and cry while watching a match. At PlayCKC, we believe the future is fan-focused, with games that align with the sports fan’s real-world behaviour.”

Gamers on PlayCKC transact in Nanyas, an in-app currency. Nanya winnings can be redeemed for gift cards and vouchers, or encashed. In future, the company sees nanyas becoming a cross-platform product, with a potential for cryptocurrency trading. It is also looking at offering NFT units as a reward option to its gamers. Innovations in sports gaming will benefit the sports fan the most.

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