9stacks- Earn While Playing at 9stacks

According to a report by Flurry Analytics, India is the 2nd country after US in terms of online mobile gaming.  Again, according to Google KPMG report published in May 2017, the online gaming industry in India across platforms is estimated to reach $1 billion by 2021, with 310 million gamers. The data is enough to indicate Indian's love for online games. And this love will grow further with companies like 9stacks, which are not only letting the gamers play but also earn.

Based in Delhi, and established in November 2017, 9stacks  is India's fastest growing online poker platform that lets you earn money, playing.

9stacks Success Story

Startup Name 9stacks
Headquarter Delhi, India
Sector Gaming
Founders Sudhir Kamath, Pratik Kumar, Abhinav Nigam and Rishab Mathur
Founded 2017
Parent Organization Sparskills Technologies Pvt Ltd
Website www.9stacks.com


About 9stacks and How it Works
Gaming Industry Details
Founders of 9stacks and team
How was 9stacks Started
9stacks - Name, Tagline, and Logo
9stacks - Business Model and Revenue Model
9stacks - User Acquisition
9stacks - Startup Challenges
9stacks - Funding and Investors
9stacks - Advisors and Mentors
9stacks - Awards
9stacks - Competitors
9stacks - Growth

About 9stacks and How it Works

9stacks is India’s fastest growing online poker platform which provides a fun gaming experience with its easy-to-use interface, fastest withdrawals, attractive promotions and leader board prizes. 9stacks is professionally run and 100%  legal in India. As a highly reliable, safe and trusted poker site in  India, they process the fastest cash outs when you win money on 9stacks.

Recently, 9stacks launched Faboom.com- one of India’s fastest growing fantasy sports platforms, where sports lovers can participate in daily contests, make multiple teams, rank the players to score maximum points and earn money on every match. Between 9stacks and Faboom, the company has >0.5 Million registered users, and growing rapidly.

Major USPs of 9stacks are-

  • 9stacks has very low downtime and offers seamless gaming experience, anytime anywhere.
  • The 9stacks user interface is highly intuitive and smooth, and is optimized for beginners, unlike the typical model followed by many of its competitors which was optimized for experienced power users. On 9stacks, decision-making for new players is simplified and the UI follows a ‚Äúless is more‚ÄĚ approach. By reducing the complexity of choices, the beginner user is able to focus only on playing the game. Further, the user experience flows seamlessly, across the web (HTML5) version, Android app, iOS app, and desktop apps for Mac and Windows, and also on progressive web application (PWA) which is Light weight, quick and responsive.
  • 9stacks ensures that even if the number of players increase, their site functions smoothly
  • Trust infrastructure - 9stacks uses a Random Number Generating device to ensure unbiased and unpredictable dealing of cards. This ensures no player is cheated on.
  • User skills dashboard which presents to the user an analysis of his/her poker skills and helps improve them - ¬†e.g., analysis of preflop and post flop action, along with his/her use of particular hand combinations
  • Its mandatory geolocation check ensures that 9stacks is not used in states where this kind of gaming is banned, for example Sikkim.
  • Its latest feature, Responsible Gaming, is aimed at protecting the players, especially those who lack control over their gaming, from the potential negative consequences of online gaming.
  • Dual Chip System, transparent tax deduction policies
  • The platform has an automated cash-out system, and cash outs happen within two hours of submitting a request.
  • 9stacks is the only site in India to have stakes wise, customised challenges for players.

Gaming Industry Details

As per the 2019 Media & Entertainment Sector report by E&Y,

  • Indian online gaming subscriber base in 2018 was 278 Mn, up from 183 Mn in 2017
  • 89% of gamers played on their mobile phones.
  • Revenue Growth Rate for online Real Money gaming in 2018 was 82%.

9stacks primarily targets millennials between 21-27 years, and as India currently has the largest youth population, the company envisions  their business expanding.

We firmly believe the Indian online gaming market is at the early stages of a long-term growth curve, driven by improving access to internet and smartphones, rapidly dropping data costs, and increasing access to online transactions mechanisms.

Relevant Read: GamesKraft - Brings World-Class Gaming Experience to the Indian Users

Founders of 9stacks and team

Sudhir Kamath, Co-Founder & CEO, 9stacks
Sudhir Kamath, Co-Founder & CEO, 9stacks

Sudhir Kamath, Co-Founder & CEO is an IIM-A alumnus and ex-McKinsey consultant with over 17 years of experience. Prior to 9stacks, he was CEO of Suntera Energy, a privately held oil and gas exploration company.

Pratik Kumar, Co-Founder & CMO, 9stacks
Pratik Kumar, Co-Founder & CMO, 9stacks

Pratik Kumar, Co- Founder & CMO is an IIT KGP alumnus, with over 12 years of experience in e-commerce and online marketing. He was the CMO of Nykaa.com and founding team member of Zivame.com.

Abhinav Nigam, Co-Founder & COO, 9stacks
Abhinav Nigam, Co-Founder & COO, 9stacks

Abhinav Nigam, Co-Founder & COO is an IIT KGP alumnus and ex-BCG consultant, with over 12 years of experience with Accenture Strategy and the Boston Consulting Group.

Rishab Mathur, Co-Founder & CTO , 9stacks
Rishab Mathur, Co-Founder & CTO , 9stacks

Rishab Mathur, Co-Founder & CTO is an IIT KGP alumnus with over 12 years of experience in technology. He was head of mobile technology for Nearbuy and CTO of 9monks and Blot Canvas.

Currently 9stacks has 35 employees working and their office culture is quite cool. Every Friday there are poker games in office which helps all the team come together and socialize.

How was 9stacks Started

The 9stacks team identified early on through customer interviews that online gamers prefer secure  gaming platforms, with smooth financial transactions, strong trust infrastructure, and a best-in-class user experience. 9stacks was established keeping these expectations in view.

As a B2C startup, 9stacks started off through reaching out to the founders' and team's friends and friends-of- friends, to establish an initial group of about 200 customers. This was their ‚Äútesting group‚ÄĚ who provided feedback on their design and UI/UX. Once, they iterated the product, they moved onto digital marketing so as to reach out to more customers and consequently kept scaling up the project.

The name 9stacks is based out of the poker game. Basically a poker table has 9 players, thus 9 and there are stacks of chips on a table. That is how 9stacks came into being.

9stacks - Business Model and Revenue Model

9stacks is an initiative build on Business To Consumer (B2C) model. It charges service fee (Rake) for enabling gamers to play with each other online.

9stacks has a customer friendly platform with best-in-class UI/UX. In the platform customers only play against each other, meaning the game is among the customers themselves and nobody from the 9stacks side are involved in the gaming process. Moreover, they have a feature called Random Number Generator (RNG) - through which nobody from 9stacks administration can control the cards which are dealt to the players and the cards which are dealt as community cards. The unpredictability of RNG makes their platform exciting, unbiased and ensures that the gamers get a wonderful fun experience.

9stacks - User Acquisition

9stacks got its initial 1oo customers through reaching out to friends and friends-of- friends. This was their ‚Äútesting group‚ÄĚ who provided feedback on their design and UI/UX. Once, they iterated the product, they moved onto digital marketing so as to reach out to more customers and consequently kept scaling up the project.

9stacks's industry’s best UI/UX, has lead to higher retention of users and conversion from registration to depositors and has helped the company earn highest revenue per user in the industry. Features like 'Random Number Generator' , 'Responsible Gaming', 'User skills dashboard' and 'Quick Cashout Process' has helped 9stacks build trust among their audiences and hold a place for themselves in the gaming industry.  The company invests a lot of effort in gamification and leaderboard based promotions.

They are also the first company to have a poker rap song called Hustle Hai with Dependent artists. Through this campaign they could generate 80 User Generated Content. Their another initiative called PokerFace was launched with Gopal Datt, a first of its kind poker chat show which celebrates the lives and stories of poker players. Through such initiatives, the company has successfully established connections with its target audience

Relevant Read: Aviate - Making College Students Job Ready

9stacks - Startup Challenges

Like most of the startups, the most challenging part for 9stacks  was also initial funding. The 9stacks team had to reach out to a number of potential angel investors and converting those to raise 9stacks's initial $1.5Mn in angel round. However, for subsequent rounds, raising funds was a bit  easier, as they had the product, user base and revenues to showcase.

On the product front they engaged in experimentation and using data to validate outcomes. For instance, they launched a new tournament structure that was probably unique anywhere in the world. After a couple of months they realized that it wasn’t pushing user engagement in the right way, so they had to shut down that experiment. This is one of many such examples, the team at 9stacks say!

9stacks - Funding and Investors

9stacks has raised 2 rounds of funding worth around $6 million till date from investors like, Waterbridge ventures and individual angel investors including Anant Daga (TCNS Clothing), Kartik Sheth (Bharti Airtel),  Kedar Gavane(vice president at web research firm ComScore), Amit Diwan (senior director at global real estate investment firm Hines), Mohit Sardana (chief business officer at travel booking startup GoFro) and Shubhajit Sen (former chief marketing officer at domestic handset maker Micromax)

Date Stage Amount Investors
December 2017 Angel $1.56 million Angel investors including Swati Gupta (founder, IndustryBuying), Purnima Khandelwal (founder, INI Farms), Maheshwer Peri (founder, Careers360) and Kartik Sheth (Chief executive, Wynk Music).
October 2018 Series A $3.84 million WaterBridge Ventures Astarc Ventures

9stacks - Advisors and Mentors

The team 9stacks seeks constant advice from experts and are assisted by great mentors from the industry. There are few mentors who besides assissting them have also become investors in their projects.
Manish Kheterpal of Waterbridge Ventures, wrote the first institutional cheque for them, and participates on their board. Vinay Mittal, is one of their leading angel investors.  Kartik Sheth, is one of the investors who have been part of 9stacks journey since the beginning. He is the CEO of EkAnek Technologies and formerly the chief Innovation officer at India’s largest telecom company.

9stacks - Awards

  • SUTRA HR form: 9stacks was featured in the top 100 startups to watch out for in 2018
  • eGaming Review: 9stacks is the first Indian Poker company to win the prestigious EGR award in London for the best poker marketing campaign of the year.
  • Startup Asia: 9stacks has also been voted amongst the Top 30 startups in India in 2019. Last but not the least, 9stacks created history when Nishant Sharma and Vivek Rughani, part of #9stacks Team India became the first two Indian poker players ever to enter the top 100 ranks in the Main Event.

Relevant Read: Neeman's - Comfortable, Eco-friendly Shoes for Every Occasion

9stacks - Competitors

Adda52, Pokerbaazi, Spartan and Pokerstars India are some major competitors of 9stacks.

9stacks - Growth

9stacks has achieved year on year growth consistently. The following facts reiterate their growth:

  • 6x growth in annual revenue
  • 6x growth in user base
  • 5x growth in games played

Currently, 9stacks and Faboom has more than 500,000 registered users and handles wagers (GMV for the gaming industry) of more than $10M every month. In the next two years the company expects to grow these numbers by at least 10X.

Author image

About Chayanika Goswami

Chayanika is an MBA in Finance and a trained Digital Marketer. SEO and content writing are her hobbies turned profession. She is a rover. In her free time, she loves traveling and cracking jokes.
dismiss