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Harsha Bhogle backed fantasy gaming platform Fantasy Akhada on Wednesday announced that it has raised Rs. 5 crore equity funding through Prime Securities Limited, an investment banking boutique that provides diversified investment banking and corporate advisory services in India.

The new financing round was led by investment banker N Jayakumar, managing director of Prime Securities right before Indian Premier League (IPL). The investment brings Fantasy Akhada‘s total funding closer to $1 million (around 7 crore).

Launched in January 2020, the Gurgaon-based startup raised funds from cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle who also came on board as the platform’s brand ambassador in August 2020. The platform has garnered three lakh active users since inception.

Amit Purohit, founder of Fantasy Akhada said, “The latest round of funding will primarily be used in enhancing our tech capabilities, driving user acquisition during the most important time of the year (IPL)."

The company said that it plans to extend current sports portfolio beyond cricket and football. It plans to add sports like kabaddi and basketball, in the short run, apart from enhancing the prize pool of guaranteed mega contests being run on its platform during IPL. Over the next two years, there will be a big T20 tournament every six months with the T20 World Cup scheduled next year which is expected to drive the platform’s growth.

Jayakumar of Prime Securities said, “Having studied several business models in this industry, we believe that merely burning money to acquire customers is not a long term, sustainable solution for any player in this industry, an ethos that Fantasy Akhada truly embraces. Given the initiatives they are planning, there is a well-defined path to profitability that the company is working towards, over the next few quarters."

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