Dream11 Startup Story- India's Best Fantasy Gaming Application

Vidhi Punamiya Vidhi Punamiya
Nov 05, 2020 7 min read
Dream11 Startup Story- India's Best Fantasy Gaming Application

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on.

Fantasy sport is what most young sports lovers today are crazy about. With fantasy sport, sports lovers need not just enjoy a game by being a spectator, but can also create an imaginary team (of real players) of his own choice and earn rewards when his imaginary team performs well. All thanks to the mobile and internet revolution, the fantasy gaming industry is booming in India too.

With a motivated will to explore this sector, Dream11 was founded back in 2008 by two young and talented co-founders Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth. A pioneer in the fantasy gaming segment, Dream11 is the first Indian gaming company to enter the unicorn club. Let's have a look at the journey of this Mumbai based startup that has been recognized as the top 10 innovative companies in India.

Dream11 - Company Highlights

Startup Name Dream11
Headquarter Mumbai
Founders Harsh Jain & Bhavit Sheth
Sector Fantasy Gaming
Founded 2008
Parent Organization Dream Sports
Website dream11.com

About Dream11 and How it Works
Dream11 - Target Market
Founders of Dream11 and team
Dream11 - Revenue Model
Dream11 - Startup Challenges
Dream11 - Competitors
Dream11 - Funding and Investors
Dream11 - Growth
Dream11 - Awards & Recognitions
Dream11 - FAQs

Dream11 Story from Harsh Jain(Co-Founder, Dream11)

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Time and again, an app comes into play that floods up the market share. Online Fantasy Games has become more common in the last 2 decades and shockingly it has secured top gear in India. Because, by creating your own imaginary team, if you could earn some real money, then, why not? One gaming app h…

About Dream11 and How it Works

Dream11 is an application that allows its users to create imaginary teams. The catch here is that the users can earn cash based on actual match performance of selected players on their teams. Each good move of the players earns cash rewards to the users. Moreover, Dream11 provides its users to play games in categories like cricket, football, kabaddi, and National Basketball Association.

Dream11 is one of India's Biggest Sports Gaming platform with an average of 4 crores+ users. It is a great platform for sports lovers in the country to showcase their knowledge and also compete with fellow fans.

Dream11 - Target Market

The online gaming sector in India has undergone a tremendous change in the last few years. The online gaming market in India which stood at $290 Mn in 2017, is expected to grow to $1 Bn by 2021. A report by Flurry Analytics said, "India currently ranks among the top five countries in the world for online and mobile gaming."

According to Deloitte, "Fantasy Sports in India has grown by 199.69%, generating a total revenue of about INR 67 Cr in 2016-17. This growth can be attributed to the annual T20 cricket summer when the Indian Premier League (IPL) dominates all sports in India."


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Dream11 Founders and team

Dream11 was founded by two young and aspiring entrepreneurs and sports lovers, Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in 2008.

Dream11 Founders
Dream11 Founders
  • Dream11 CEO Harsh Jain, is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA from Columbia Business School. Before Dream11, he launched and successfully led the acquisition of Red Digital (a social media agency) by Gozoop. His vision with Dream11 is to entertain the sports fans with some real-time modules.
  • Dream11 COO Bhavit Sheth is an Engineer with an MBA from Bentley University (Boston) and a Diploma in E-commerce strategies from Harvard. Bhavit co-founded Dream11 with Harsh in 2008. As COO, his prime focus is on providing the best, trusted, and user-focused experience via operational excellence throughout the company's processes.

Dream11 - Revenue Model

The revenue model of Dream11 primarily works on two levels.

  • Entry-level fees from the participants to participate in the paid contests.
  • When the users earn on their real-time performance of the players, Dream 11 takes its cut which accounts for about 15-20% of the total pool.

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Dream11 - Startup Challenges

Being India's number one online gaming platform did not come without hurdles. First of them being the legal challenges, particularly because of its similarity to gambling, which is largely illegal in India. So it had to go through court allegations but the judiciary ruled that fantasy gaming is a game of skills rather than chances or probabilities. The industry though growing at an ever-increasing speed is at a self-regulatory phase.

Dream11 - Competitors

Fantasy gaming in India is at such a boom that it wouldn't be wrong to say that there are new entrants every day in the market. With Dream11 being number one in the industry there are close to 60 other online gaming platforms operating in the same genre. Some of them include FanMojo, Mobile Premier League, Ballebaaz, HalaPlay, Gaming Monk, etc.


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Dream11 - Funding and Investors

Dream11 has raised 6 rounds of funding till date. Dream11 joined the Indian unicorn club in April 2019 with an investment from Steadview Capital. The company is also backed by huge firms like Kalaari Capital, Chinese internet giant Tencent, Think Investments and Multiples Equity.

Date Stage Amount Investors
January 2015 Series A Undisclosed Kalaari Capital
December 2015 Series B Undisclosed Kalaari Capital
January 2017 Series C Undisclosed Multiples Alternate Asset Management Private Limited, Kalaari Capital
September, 2018 Series D $100 Million Tencent Holdings
April 2019 Seconary Market Undisclosed Steadview Capital
January 2020 Private Equity $500 Million Tiger Global

Dream11 - Growth and Revenue

The revenue of Dream11 took a leap of 3.5X to Rs 775 crore in FY19 Β from Rs 224.64 crore in FY18. Β Losses during FY19 also ballooned 2X to Rs 131.64 crore as compared to Rs 65.12 crore in FY18.

  • Joined the Indian Unicorn club in 2019
  • Caters to 100 Million users.
  • Dream11 claims to have grown at a CAGR of 230% in the last three years.
  • Though it took three years to hit 1 million users. Post that they crossed the 3 million mark in less than 2 months.

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Dream11 - Awards & Recognitions

  • According to a report by Google, Dream11 was named among the Top 10 biggest and most popular trends of 2018 in India.
  • In 2019, BCCI signed up Dream11 as Β IPL's official fantasy sports partner till 2022. This was not only validation for Dream11, but the whole fantasy gaming sector in the country.
  • In 2018, Dream11 was ranked #9 among India's Great Mid-Size Workplaces
  • In Inc42's 42Next list, Dream11 was one of 42 innovative startups.

Dream11 - FAQs

Who are the founders of Dream11?

Dream11 was co-founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in 2008.

How much funding has Dream11 raised?

Dream11 has raised 6 rounds of funding till date. It joined the Indian unicorn club in April 2019 with an undisclosed investment from Steadview Capital. It has raised more than $600 Million.

Who are the Top Competitors of Dream11?

With Dream11 being number one in the industry there are close to 60 other online gaming platforms operating in the same genre. Some of them include FanMojo, Mobile Premier League, Ballebaaz, HalaPlay, Gaming Monk, etc.

How much is the revenue of Dream11?

The revenue of Dream11 took a leap of 3.5X to Rs 775 crore in FY19 Β from Rs 224.64 crore in FY18. Β Losses during FY19 also ballooned 2X to Rs 131.64 crore as compared to Rs 65.12 crore in FY18.

Is Dream11 Chinese app?

Dream11 is an Indian fantasy sports platform. Tencent, A Chinese Conglomerate has a 10% stake in Dream11.

Yes, millions of people are playing paid leagues on dream11. It is absolutely safe and legal way to earn money. Dream11 is largest fantasy website in India having more that 1.1 crore players.

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