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Play Games24X7, the company that runs gaming apps RummyCircle and My11Circle, said rummy is the largest contributor to its total revenue even though 90% of its users play fantasy sports. The company's co-founder and CEO Bhavin Pandya said though rummy is popular in the south, the company plans to push its brand RummyCircle in the north to boost revenue.

“While just 10% of our users play rummy, they bring in a majority of the revenue, and the remaining play fantasy cricket," said Pandya, whose company offers RummyCircle, Pet Haven and My11Circle on its platform.

The company claims to have a total of 100 million users on its platforms across casual gaming like Pet Haven and fantasy cricket as well as rummy and Teen Patti. Fantasy cricket had about six million downloads in the first year of its launch in 2019, and rummy has over 30 million players, the company said.

Play Games24X7 is backed by marquee investors like Tiger Global and The Raine Group and has raised about $34 million year-to-date of which the latest was a series B funding in 2021 of $18 million from Frederick Emmer Pollock, Jonathan Sawyer and eight others.

The company's total income, according to business intelligence platform Tofler in FY21 was 1,312.66 crore on a standalone and consolidated basis, lower from 1,573 crore in FY19-20. During this period, however, its net profit after taxes increased to 383.7 crore versus 110 crore in FY19-20 largely on account of reduced expenditure.

"In the South of the country, rummy is a fabric of people's lives unlike the North where it is primarily played during big holidays Diwali. But there is nothing regional about the game and the only way to make it more popular is to work with a big celebrity," said Pandya.

This week, the company announced Hrithik Roshan as its brand ambassador for its brand RummyCircle. As part of the partnership, Roshan will be seen in multimedia campaigns by the gaming app on TV, digital and social media platforms. For this, the company will be releasing its television commercials starting this week and will go on for the next six weeks till the Indian Premier League begins.

The company also recently signed on actor Ranveer Singh as the brand ambassador for its fantasy sports division. "The call there was that we were trying to democratise fantasy sports. Both have come on board with different agendas and objectives. We wanted all of our brands to have very distinct identities," he said.

In fantasy cricket, he said, people generally play a 5–25 game, making it a high volume but low margin game and on the other hand rummy has high margins while still being lower volume with an average spend in the range of 100-200 per game.

He pointed out that the reason that fantasy sports apps work in India is because people are cricket fanatics and that they bring companies a large user base, even if they are lower ticket transactions.

According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's gaming committee, India has emerged as the largest fantasy sports market in the world with over 13 crore users playing fantasy sports. The growth of 27% CAGR generated by the online skill gaming industry in 2020 has made it the fastest-growing segment within the Indian M&E sector.

"The sunrise online skill gaming industry is responsible for facilitating 400+ startups in this sector and attracted 400+ million gamers -- - young Indians providing them viable alternate job opportunities in Esports and other gaming businesses," said Roland Landers, convenor of the FGC & CEO of the All-India Gaming Federation.

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