The Dream11 Story
Dream11.com is the leading fantasy cricket gaming league in the world. Fantasy cricket is an online game where you create a virtual team of real cricket players by optimizing the allocated budget. You score points depending on how your chosen players perform in real life matches. Dream11 provides a unique and innovative platform that enables users to showcase their cricket knowledge and skill to win cash in their fantasy leagues every day. Fantasy sports leagues were relatively new in India when founder Harish Jain set up Dream11 in 2009. Since then, the company has become the market leader for cricket fantasy gaming.
In Conversation with Harsh
Recipe for success
I believe that perseverance is the most important trait that every entrepreneur must have. While luck does play a huge role, I’d like to think that success is the result of perseverance and taking advantage of opportunities. You have to maximize the time during which lady luck smiles on you. Only then can your startup thrive.
Along with this, I think that building a great culture and hiring people who are smarter than you adds to building a successful company.
Never forget your users. An entrepreneur must always prioritize the pain point of users/customers and build everything possible to help them solve it.
Your unique idea
Dream11.com is the world’s largest fantasy cricket and football game. With an exponentially growing base of over a million users globally, we are committed to helping sports fans enjoy their game even more by providing the best, most trusted customer-focused fantasy sports experience.
The daily fantasy sports industry in the US has grown from $10 million in gross merchandise volume in 2011 to $3 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow to $16 billion by 2020. However, the world’s largest spectator sports – cricket and football (soccer) – were not part of this, and that’s exactly the void that Dream11.com fills.
Partnership with Kalaari
Kalaari has been a terrific partner for us in the six months since it’s come on board. It’s a VC that I would rate amongst the best. It lives up to its promise of actually helping us build the business. Kalaari has helped us tremendously with anything we asked: CFO services, marketing, interviewing of candidates and AWS, to name just a few.
Vani, who is on our board, adds amazing insight to our business. I know she ‘gets’ it, as she’s been an entrepreneur herself in the Valley. She also goes out of her way to help me grow not only professionally, but personally too.
Your first meeting
My first meeting with Vani (after Kunal Bahl of Snapdeal introduced us) was fantastic. She quickly understood the business and gave me tips on how to grow it, as well as scale it internationally. In fact, she went a step further and actually wrote down all the advice herself – on a paper napkin from the restaurant we were at! I knew right there and then that Vani (and Kalaari) was the kind of VC we had been looking for.