Indian startup Twelfth Man claims to have attracted more than 600,000 users on its fantasy football-only app.
In the fast-growing Indian fantasy sports space, that is crowded with fantasy cricket platforms, Twelfth Man has found a niche by serving the smaller, yet significantly large, football-crazy audience.
"I am a lifelong football fan. I got into fantasy gaming through Fantasy Premier League which I was playing since ninth grade,” said Kush Desai, founder of NxGn Sports Interactive, which owns Twelfth Man.
A 2019 FIFS-KPMG report suggested that football is the second-most popular sport on fantasy gaming platforms in India, which makes it a lucrative option for fantasy gaming firms, including Twelfth Man.
As fantasy gaming, especially cricket, grew rapidly in India in recent years, it served as a business opportunity to football-loving entrepreneurs like Kush Desai.
“I always wanted to do something around football in the fantasy sports space. And then I saw fantasy gaming picking pace in India.
“All the big companies have got a large user base for cricket. And I felt that India needed a football-only platform,” said Desai, who launched Twelfth Man in April.
Within six months of its launch, the Ahmedabad-based startup claims to have attracted more than 600,000 users on its platform and has also signed Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri as its brand ambassador. In early September, the app had around 90,000 to 100,000 monthly active users.
The traction on Twelfth Man will only increase in the coming months as India’s premier football competition, the Indian Super League (ISL) has commenced behind closed doors from November 20.
Other global football competitions such as Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and the Bundesliga have also commenced their seasons with all safety precautions amid the pandemic.
Twelfth Man currently follows the freemium model that gives its users an option to play for free, along with paid contests. It is available on both Android and iOS devices.