9stacks- Earn While Playing

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

Latest News! 9stacks signs Suresh Raina as Brand Ambassador
9stacks - About and How it Works
Gaming Indutry Details
9stacks - Founders 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
9stacks - FAQs

Latest News! 9stacks signs Suresh Raina as Brand Ambassador

9stacks, an Online Poker Platform  signed Suresh Raina as its brand ambassador on September 2020. Suresh Raina, who announced retirement from the international cricket last month (July 2020), will be a part of 9stacks’ upcoming campaigns and engagement activities. 9stacks currently claims over 32 million users.

“During the lockdown, we all learned a lot of new things and I for one picked up playing poker online on 9stacks. It's a fun game of skill that makes you think and apply numerous strategies to win,” said Raina
“Suresh Raina is an inspiration to millions of Indians. His skill as a sportsperson is a result of years of practice, passion, understanding of the game and hard-work and this skill has made him win many matches for India and become the champion that he is,” said Pratik Kumar, Co-Founder, 9stacks

9stacks - About 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. It 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, It 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 are-

  • 9stacks has very low downtime and offers seamless gaming experience, anytime anywhere.
  • The 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 “less is more” 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.
  • It 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.
  • It is the only site in India to have stakes wise, customised challenges for players.

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Gaming Indutry 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.

Growth analysis of gaming industry globally and In India.
The global gaming market was valued at $ 151.55 billion in 2019 . This industry is expected to reach a value of $ 256.97 billion by 2025. It is expected to register a CAGR of 9.17% over the period (2020 – 2025). Gamer’s experience is what all the emerging comapnies are focusing at. Every company i…

9stacks - Founders and Team

Sudhir Kamath, Pratik Kumar, and Rishabh Mathur are the Founders of 9stacks.

Sudhir Kamath, Pratik Kumar, and Rishabh Mathur
9stacks- Founders 

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 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.

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.


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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. It 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 “testing group” 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 Logo

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.

It 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.


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9stacks - User Acquisition

9stacks got its initial 1oo customers through reaching out to friends and friends-of- friends. This was their “testing group” 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 it 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.

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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: The startup  was featured in the top 100 startups to watch out for in 2018
  • eGaming Review: It 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, It 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.

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9stacks - Competitors

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


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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.

9stacks - FAQs

Who are the Founders of 9stacks?

Sudhir Kamath, Pratik Kumar, and Rishabh Mathur are the Founders of 9stacks.

How much funding has 9stacks raised?

9stacks has raised 2 rounds of funding worth around $6 million till date from investors like, Waterbridge ventures and individual angel investors

What is 9stacks?

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.

How does 9stacks make money?

It charges service fee (Rake) for enabling gamers to play with each other online.

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About Chayanika Goswami

  • Assam
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