More than half of fantasy sports winners come from small towns: Paytm First Games

More than half the winners of fantasy sports on Paytm First Games hail from lower-tier cities, according to Sudhanshu Gupta, COO of Paytm First Games.

Online gaming and fantasy sports platform Paytm First Games has penetrated deep into the smaller towns of India and continues to flourish.

“You would be surprised to see the traffic coming from tier two and three cities. Around 60 per cent of the winners in fantasy sports every week hail from smaller towns rather than metro cities,” revealed Gupta in an interview with KrAsia.

Paytm First Games, which was launched as a tool to increase engagement on digital payments app Paytm, has now become one of the leading gaming portals in India.

In the two years since its inception, the fantasy sports app has gained massive popularity and claims to be the second-largest fantasy gaming portal in India.

“Looking at the overall user base and size of the contest, we are emerging as the clear number two,” claimed Gupta.

Although Dream11, which was founded in 2008, has enjoyed a headstart in the fantasy sports space, Gupta believes there is plenty of untapped potential in India.

“Dream11 has been there for over a decade and they have done a fantastic job of creating the category, but there is a lot more growth that is yet to be unlocked.”

Apart from fantasy sports, Paytm First Games features two more gaming categories - casual gaming and rummy, thus catering to a much wider audience.

These two categories helped the platform retain users when the COVID-19 pandemic forced live sports to shut down. Since fantasy sports depend on live events, a lot of their users moved to the other games offered on the platform.

“When the lockdown happened, physical sports had also stopped because of which fantasy gaming got hit, but we anyway had other games on the app. Luckily, since we always had multiple games in one place, we were in a sweet spot that had something to offer for everyone,” explained Gupta.

Before the pandemic hit the global sports industry, Paytm First Games claimed to have a user base of around 40 million, which has now doubled.

“Pre-COVID-19, we had about 40 to 50 million registered users, post COVID-19 (lockdown), this number grew to 80 million. Our daily and monthly active users quadrupled during the lockdown.

“Currently we see about 20 million monthly active users. This is growing pretty fast because of the IPL matches that have fueled the fantasy game right now. During this season we are acquiring a quarter of a million users every day.”

Paytm First Games has been investing heavily in marketing their product and has also named former Indian cricket team starSachin Tendulkar as their brand ambassador.

“We are happy that our product and marketing investments have worked in our favour,” added Gupta.