India, March 15, 2023: BuyStars announces a $5 million pre-series A round led by Lumikai (India’s pioneering Gaming and Interactive-focused VC Fund), Chiratae and Leo Capital. The funding will be allocated towards investing in growth and launching new games on the platform. With the fresh funding, BuyStars has now raised $9 million in total till date.
BuyStars is a sports collectibles and skill gaming company founded in 2021 by industry veterans – Aman Satija and Sriram Krishnamoorthy. The company offers multiple skill games like fantasy, player trading, trump cards, etc., seamlessly integrated to provide utility to collectibles available on the platform. BuyStars uses deep game mechanics built upon a robust economy, involving the trading of cricket player cards. It allows users to play games on the platform encouraging all-season and year-long play. This skill-based approach and utility is aimed to remove seasonality and speculation of fantasy games, leading to healthy long-term player engagement and retention. Since its launch in 2021, BuyStars has amassed 1.5M registered users and a monthly GMV north of $1 million.
Expressing his views on the funding received, Aman Satija, CEO & Co-founder of BuyStars said, “BuyStars was started with a mission to disrupt how cricket fans engage with games today. We are extremely pleased that our efforts are getting recognised. While funding is never a testament to a company’s success, however, when experienced investors decide to back a company, it’s definitely a great validation of the mission one started with and a tribute to the hard work of a team that came together to build it.”
The founders Aman and Sriram are veterans of the Indian Real Money Gaming (RMG) industry, having held product and marketing leadership positions at some of the country’s leading RMG companies. Further, they have built a strong leadership team across product, tech, growth and revenue verticals in BuyStars.
Commenting on the investment, Salone Sehgal, Founding General Partner, Lumikai said, “Globally, the sports collectibles market is valued at $5.4B annually with sports cards trading growing at nearly 140% year-on-year in terms of volume. In India alone, the skill-based real money gaming and fantasy sports segment accounted for $1.5B of the $2.6B gaming industry in FY22, growing at a 25% 5-year CAGR. Aman and Sriram’s thesis around driving engagement and long-term retention via leveraging collectibles and trading cards for a fantasy-focused audience base is deeply compelling. Product-led innovation in this segment is necessary to disrupt incumbents and unlock value. The team’s unique insights, deep expertise combined with current user traction already reveal early potential.”
Speaking on Leo Capital’s investment, the VC Firm’s partner Dinesh Singh said, “BuyStars is a uniquely positioned player in the fantasy sports landscape. Its skill-based approach puts forth a strong alternative to how users engage with fantasy games, and we believe, is poised to redefine the future of this segment. We continue to extend our confidence in BuyStars and its team’s vision, through our participation in the company’s pre-series A round.”
Saketh Katikaneni, AVP Investments, Chiratae Ventures commented, “While India remains one of the largest markets for Sports RMG, existing offerings are archaic, “gameplay” is nearly non-existent and incumbent formats do not appeal to a diverse user base. BuyStars plugs these holes with their category-creating gaming platform offering multiple inter-connected sports-based games, centered around a market of player cards and game assets. The company is well on its way to disrupt the Sports RMG market which is possibly the largest gaming opportunity in India.”