Cricket is not merely a sport, it is modern-day opium for its lovers in India. It is most popular and watched sport in the country. The excitement, thrill, and passion, it generates among millions of cricket fans is unmatchable.
Even though there are many platforms dedicated to cricket, cricket focused news and fantasy cricket gaming, but when it comes to proper engagement for the several hundred millions of fans, who want to express their thoughts, in fact, none comes to mind.
The gap between a fan and meaningful engagement triggered two hardcore cricket buffs – Venus Dhuria and Vipul Agrawal to come into play. The duo took the second dig at entrepreneurship through Cricnwin, a fan engagement platform, based on the innate need of fans to connect and interact on and fresh topics.
“Every cricket fan has emotions that he or she wants to express or convey to others. We felt the need to do it for cricket lovers as there was no platform addressing this,” says Vipul, who co-founded CricnWin along with Venus Dhuria in Dec 2016.
Both the co-founders worked together at Rutogo, an intercity cab aggregator before it got acquired by ixigo in 2015. Dhuria is an alumnus of PEC, Chandigarh whereas Vipul did masters in Statistics from Amity University.
Besides, the mobile-based platform allows cricket fans to engage through pre-match quizzes and chat forums, live match prediction games, and post-match interactions.
“Cricnwin is social gaming platform which focuses on core factors that involve in engagement, “ explains Dhuria.
How Cricnwin maze through chaotic lane of cricket with plenty on the platter?
The moot question comes up is, why should fans come onto Cricnwin when there are already so many platforms?
“Cricwin framework is based on social, infotainment, and experience factors, which can allow fans to perform an action as well as win rewards for their every engagement,” reasons Dhuria.
That is not all, there are rewards for cricket enthusiasts. Fans get coins which are transferable to Paytm wallet.
Notably, it has gamification feature, that allows the user to compete or play with the other enthusiasts.
Cricnwin has fan interaction, personalised cricket feed and content, as well as in-app match discussion supporting thousands of users, all laid out on the platform as its core products.
As most often cricket-related discussions on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter do not go to its target audience.
“This results in less engagement from true cricket fans. Whereas our social wall and chat room discussion are completely dedicated to cricket and cricket fans”, says Vipul.
DAU, challenges, and competition
Cricnwin, after running POC mode where it had garnered around 50K users in six months. The company later tweaked the model and re-launched in last November with feedback-based products- cricket news and prediction game.
Currently, Cricnwin claims to have acquired more than 150K users with the Avg Session Time of more than 10-12 mins. The Daily Active Users (DAU) on the platform on the match day are around 15-16k.
“With the arrival of the IPL season, this will go up to 2X of user base”, exudes Venus.
One of the major challenges they face while raising the platform is, educating sports fans about Cricnwin- where other than cricketing contents, a whole lot of opportunities are offered for fans.
Sports fans sometimes mistook as another cricket/sports media companies or fantasy cricket.
Though, the good part is, “People who have been to their platform contribute 20 % users through their referrals”, says Venus. The platform boasts of 80 per cent organic traffic.
However, getting fans back on the app consistently is something that they are working on.
Other player competing in the same space is Rooter, a sports social gaming platform that serves as a platform for real-time interaction with sports enthusiasts. It has raised a couple rounds from Intex and Angel investors including Bollywood actor Boman Irani.
Of late, startups focussed on sports have garnered a lot of investor interest.
With Cricket retaining its dominant position in India, its popularity going well beyond sport especially with the advent of IPL as a form of entertainment and media product.
In a country of a billion fans, the fan engagement industry is estimated to be a billion dollar industry.
Making money by triggering meaningful engagement
The platform has not yet monetised its products. It aims to achieve 12-15 lakh user base before diving into monetisation.
“As of now the focus is to build a scalable product that interest users. By 2019, we will have 100K DAU on our platform,” quips Vipul.
Cricnwin aims to make the revenue with a couple of models which includes advertisements, where the brand can directly target their audience based on various attributes.
Since users base is cricket fans, it will directly take the eye of consumer marketing products.
In future, it also plans to earn through sponsorship, organising gaming event, voucher redemption and lead generations for food ordering and ticketing industries.
Funding & Future plan
Cricnwin has been seed funded by Zdream and a group of angel investors Ankush Nijhawan, Gaurav Bhatnagar, Manish Dhingra and Rahul Khetrapal.
The company is also in talks for the next rounds of investment as it eyes expansion beyond India.
With a 10-member team, it’s also planning to launch iOS and web version of its app as it is Android-based only.
“In coming three months, we plan to launch Cricnwin in all ICC test playing nations,” concludes Venus adding to support multiple-language on the platform by next year.