9stacks, arguably India’s fastest growing online poker platform, has raised $3.84 million (equivalent to 28 crores) in a Series A funding round that was led by WaterBridge Ventures and its other existing pool of investors. This is a huge milestone not just for 9stacks but also for Indian online poker market as a whole.
With the funding, the online poker platform plans to expand its teams in order to facilitate further development of its poker technology. In addition to this, part of the proceeds of the Series A funding will be used to ramp up user acquisition, data analytics, machine learning as well as product and market expansion.
“With Waterbridge Ventures becoming the lead investor in our Series A fundraiser, we are delighted to announce that 9stacks is India’s first online poker company to reach this funding milestone. We want 9stacks to be the preferred platform for poker in India, especially for new players, where anyone can discover, learn and play poker, anytime, anywhere,” said Sudhir Kamath, the 9stacks CEO.
The Delhi-based online poker platform was founded last year by Sudhir Kamath, Pratik Kumar, Abhinav Nigam, and Rishab Mathur as a real-money skill-based gaming platform with an emphasis on gaming technology development as well as branding or marketing within India’s real money gambling space.
9stacks is mainly aimed at the online space and offers players the opportunity to learn the game online, play it and even earn some real money – the company currently offers its online poker products in a total of 24 Indian states. This explains WaterBridge Venture’s interest in the company.
“India is at the cusp of massive online gaming adoption with an exponential increase in players and revenue expected in this sector. Real Money Gaming will have a significant wallet share of online due to ubiquitous mobile access, increasing disposable income, convenience, and superior user experience,” Manish Kheterpal, the Managing Partner, WaterBridge Ventures commented. “Having said that, it is an execution heavy space and we, therefore, chose to back a highly professional and accomplished team of founders comprising of Sudhir, Pratik, Abhinav, and Rishab. We are proud to partner with this founding team with a great pedigree and a proven track record.”
India’s online gaming industry has been growing rapidly over the past few years but stakeholders are still hoping to attract many more customers. According to May 2017 KPMG report, India’s online gaming industry is expected to add up to 190 million games and hit the $1 billion mark within the next three years. The country is also estimated to account for 13 percent of the global online mobile gaming population.