Cricket NFT platform Rario turned out to be a cash burning machine in the last fiscal year as the company spent around Rs 600 crore to earn Rs 39 crore. Significantly, it has written off Rs 458 crore worth NFTs during the fiscal year ending March 2023.
We will look at its expense and loss patterns in the second half of the story, but for now let’s look at Rario’s collection which is solely generated from the sale of digital collectibles or non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Rario’s revenue from operations stood at Rs 38.87 crore in FY23 as compared to Rs 1.31 crore in FY22, according to the annual financial statements filed by Rario’s ultimate holding entity based in Singapore.
Rario allows fans to buy, sell, and trade NFTs through FIAT-only mediums such as credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers.
The company has discarded Rs 458 crore worth of intangible assets via amortization and impairment during FY23 which formed 76% of the overall expenditure. This essentially means that a significant part of its acquired NFTs proved to be worthless, based on market conditions.
- Cost of digital collectibles
- Employee benefits
- Amortisation of intangible assets
- Impairment of intangible assets
- Advertising and marketing
- Professional fees
Its employee benefits surged 7.5X to Rs 22.27 crore in FY23. At the end, Rario’s total expenditure stood at Rs 599 crore which includes professional fees, the cost of collectibles, and advertising among others.
Impairment and amortization of intangible assets led Rario’s losses to Rs 560 crore in FY23 as compared to Rs 47.17 crore in FY22. Its ROCE and EBITDA margins stood at -86% and -1371% respectively. On a unit level, it spent Rs 15.4 to earn a rupee in the last fiscal year (FY23).
|Expense/₹ of Op Revenue
Founded by Ankit Wadhwa and Sunny Bhanot in 2021, the company last raised $120 million led by Dream Capital, Dream Sports’ investment arm, and Alpha Wave Global. Dream Capital is the largest external stakeholder with 55% followed by Alpha Wave Ventures.
Rario has been going through a tough time for the past 12 months. The firm re-launched its marketplace which enables trading of NFTs in December 2022 after halting the platform abruptly in March last year. In September this year, the company’s co-founder and chief executive Ankit Wadhwa, and chief technical officer Sunny Bhanot quit the company.
Following their exit, Rario investors took control over the company and reduced the workforce.
Not much can be said about the future of firms such as this, except to perhaps keep track of when it actually shuts down. Or makes a pivot that is so different as to make the original business and plans irrelevant. The crypto/NFT space was never one for the weak hearted, and investors who got in probably knew this. The accelerated departures of the founders is a bit of a surprise, as Crypto founders usually stand out for being seriously delusional or blind to what the environment is saying, besides being opportunistic of course. Bitcoin and associated crypto currencies might have made a recovery of sorts this year, and from many accounts, will continue to enjoy a run, (yet again) well into 2024. But the sheer number of missteps and scamsters infesting the segment really makes you wonder how long this cycle of hype and disappointment can go on.