Rummy Passion: Indian Gaming Revenues Reached $571.6M in 2016
We are opening ourselves for early stage investment in the first quarter of FY 2017-18.
Rummy Passion an online gaming platform launched in October 2016, Bobby Garg, Founder & CEO, Passion Gaming. Buoyed by a highly user-friendly interface that has appealed to people of all ages, online gaming platform Rummy Passion has taken India’s online gaming scene by storm, clocking a stupendous growth of 100% per quarter.
BWDisrupt spoke to Bobby Garg, Founder & CEO about their business venture.
Brief us about your business model like how did the idea came to start and how does it work?
Starting RummyPassion.com was a natural fit for us. Through it we have extended our international online gaming expertise in USA, UK and European markets to India. The idea was conceived when the cards game of Rummy was declared as a “game of skill” by the Honourable Supreme Court of India in August 2015.
Thinking from the point of view of players, our focus has been to provide vibrant multiplayer rummy tables and a generous loyalty program with a perfect blend of technology, creativity and personalization. Being data driven to match player expectations with our product offering is key to creating a platform which players love to play. The focus was also on creatively growing the business while securing value creation for both the player and the company.
What are the unique key points of your company?
We are a technology driven online gaming company which is passionately involved in providing the finest digital card games like online rummy games to players in India. We have brought our product to market in just one year and our speed in execution is our forte. The unique points of our company are our vibrant tables, easy navigability, a generous Passion Rewards Club loyalty program and the fastest next day NEFT payouts.
How are you different from the existing competitors?
We have designed our games and online platform to be the most user friendly. Our key and unique focus has been to design for the lowest common denominator – so that even an elderly retired individual who is not too techno savvy can easily play on our site.
We are different because we are process and data driven. We have understood player preferences at all levels and to the most diminutive detail. And we are constantly learning more about their playing behaviour, patterns and liking. Our focus has always been on giving what the player wants, not on what we can provide. We have rummy tables starting at a low entry fee of just Rs 20 and going up to Rs 10,000.
Rummy Passion has a customized tournament engine with which tournaments can be created easily and quickly. We offer FreeRoll, Cash, Beginners and Satellite Tournaments. To improve the skill of the players, the team has also created a ‘Rummy Gyan Blog’ where players can find valuable expert tips, tricks and strategies to help them master the game. We are offering 13 Cards Points, Pool & Deals Rummy for desktop and mobile.
What is the funding status and monetization model?
Unlike most social media gaming sites, we do not talk Top Line only! Our focus and monetization model is based on earning a percentage on every game played as a fee commonly known as “Rake”.
So we monetized with our very first game and now intend to be profitable within the next 18 months. We are opening ourselves for early stage investment in the first quarter of FY 2017-18. An ideal investor for us would be a reputed Fund who understands our positioning in this growth segment with possible extensions to Poker and/ or an established international gaming company that wishes to enter emerging sector in India.
What challenges are you facing in running your business?
The real challenge we faced was that we had to constantly develop management and team capabilities to bring international gaming experience to players in India. Although we have grown from a 6 people team to a current strength of 40 in less than a year, it is challenging to find experienced gaming professionals in India because the industry it is still early times for this industry which should mature over a decade or so. We expect ourselves to shape this industry through policy making, advocacy and best practices. Let the games begin!
How has been the people`s response so far?
We have had a great response from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka, especially to our 13 cards Points Rummy games. We are looking to grow our share in South India and Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat in the coming few quarters.
What are the traction details?
We have had over 20K verified registrations and over 1,500 cash game players playing at rummypassion.com. Our daily 1K tournaments are running full to capacity for the past few weeks which means we have 200 tournament players alone daily on our site participating in these tournaments. We are excited about our recent launch on the mobile platform too.
How do you look at expansion?
We look at expanding ourselves by providing state of the art service and generous loyalty rewards through the Passion Rewards Club, our player loyalty rewards program.
What are your marketing plans?
We have grown organically so far through SEO, Social Media and content marketing. Our marketing initiatives for the next quarter include strategic partnerships, Google PPC and Facebook campaigns.
What has been the biggest learning’s so far?
We underestimated the need for language based customer support. In this quarter, we have already revamped our players to support to include multi lingual customer support to include Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Hindi and English languages.
What is the market size and opportunity?
Reports from ‘Newzoo’ and ‘Onesky’ suggest that with the improvement of basic gaming infrastructure, India may have reached $571.6 million revenue by 2016. The mobile rummy gaming industry as well as the Rummy websites in India is a significant part of this number. It is evolving gradually marking for a bright future.
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