Fantasy sport started its origin in western countries but now it is spreading all across the globe with Asia being the latest to feel its effect. Asia is huge in area and masses and there is little doubt that it will be hit the Asian market. As a matter of fact, it reached the shores of Asia some time back but now it has really started to prosper as a big money industry and there is little surprise that top business persons and entrepreneurs as well want to get a bite of the cherry and that is why they are heavily investing in a fantasy sport. So, let us find how the fantasy sport is faring in the current Asian market and what the stats that support the upward spiral of this industry.
Business Tycoon Sam Jones’ Big launch – Ballr
On one hand, North America is engaging in some kind of legal dispute on the fantasy sports start-ups legitimacy while on the other hand, Eastside is turning more into a playing field for Sam Jones, who launched his latest app, Ballr, both in China as well as in India sometime back this year. Billionaire Tycoon that goes by the name, Jack Ma, a popular figure in Asia has announced that he will invest $15.4 million in several of the sports-tech tournaments organized in China.
The prominence enjoyed by fantasy Sports in America is already renowned
Even in America, Fantasy sports platforms have seen dazzling success. Millions of cash in the form of payouts were awarded to consistent prize winners upon placing bets online. Virtual opportunities that can help in winning big get people hooked instantly and this was more than enough for two highly competitive startups, who cashed in the market in just four years’ time.
DraftKings & FanDuel got the popularity from Major League Baseball and also via 21st Century Fox, whereas businesses that went ahead with resources as that of PlayUp faltered.
PlayUp gathered assets of worth in excess of $70 million in February through backers that also includes the Prime Minister of Australia. Even Sam Jones was a part of the PlayUp before he launched Ballr in the month of May.
How Tech Slowdown may affect the Fantasy sports business?
But in recent times we have started to see these first signs of, as some say that of a tech slowdown. During last year, we saw 81 fresh tech unicorns, all the start-up businesses raised around $27.3 billion across the globe in the fourth-quarter which turned out to be $11.4 billion short of the amount raised in the third quarter. The long-term survival of these tech giants is unclear right now but this might throw some light on monetization factors.
FanDuel insisted that it is not easy to dent their billion-dollar market cap but with the kind of disruptive they are, it was only a matter of time that they would run into a certain type of battle on regulatory grounds.
As a matter of fact, some sites are even banned in states of Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Vermont.
Asian Market offering great potential
But Jones sees great potential in Asian countries and especially China & India, the two biggest smartphone markets in the world. He gave a stat that year 2015 saw about 5 times extra revenue earned via fantasy sport in the US than the whole of the Las Vegas put together. Sport-tech evaluated a market of 281 million sports fanatics in China while 93 million around in India. Jones is not waging a lone battle here as Alibaba founder Jack Ma has placed quite high bids in order to build Asian sport-tech. Alibaba even teamed up with Singapore-based YuuZoo to announce a $5.5 million prize as an important part of their prominent AliSports World Electronic Sports Games that took place in April.
LeSports which is a Chinese eco-sports entertainment brand gathered around 1 billion dollars during Series-B funding. This can be said to be unusual even for tech unicorns to earn such amount in one round of funding. They had the backing of the YunFeng fund, which is supported by Alibaba.
Also, Ballr has contacted and got involved with famous athletes in India, with a plan to launch some cricket app soon, then a basketball app during October, and also an app for football. Thus, the business has around $4m of investment as the seed capital, which is around half of the amount FanDuel was launched within the market and also more than $1.4 million with which DraftKings started their journey in 2011.
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Jones regards sports viewership as religion. Ballr is a venue which brings all the global sports fanatics under one roof. Ballr is developed for enthusiasts who can have a beer in one of their hands and phones in another hand while watching a match at home, in a sports bar or office. It is a connection between friends and also gives players bragging rights, as Adidas and Nike, on the other hand, can advertise the latest trends in the form of prize giveaways.
It is also designed to process some amount of dopamine in the brains of the users just the way candy crush makes its users addicted to it.
Asia market giving high hopes to business despite a decline in the US market
Still, most of the efforts in order to boost sports tech in the US and also across Asia has been an underwhelming undertone. Despite all of its success, it is hard to argue the fact that how can someone benefit by placing bids against his friend while watching a match in the screen in place of running in the park or hitting a gym, or even laughing out loud with friends whom you meet in person. As the gigantic unicorns turn towards Asia, they may seem lucrative even after the fact that America might see a decline. Either which way, they are working up a method that can help the people not only in Asia but all across the world to use up their free time in a beneficial way and this will also benefit the collective consciousness of people while they are exercising on this app knowing that they are learning something in the process.
The idea we can take from this is Asia is developing as a fantasy sports market and the signs of it becoming a super tech are ominous. With the backing of the Business tycoons namely Alibaba, the fantasy sports industry is here to stay.