Cricket is immensely popular in India, and fantasy sports is gaining momentum in the country. At the intersection of these two trends lies Sportiqo – a fantasy cricket app for trading players. On Sportiqo, users can trade cricket players based on the players’ performances in the on-going live tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL), and win big prizes at the end of the season.
The platform offers users a unique opportunity to invest or trade in players, similar to trading stocks. In April this year, the blockchain-based platform launched a new digital campaign featuring cricketer Robin Uthappa.
Animation Xpress had an exclusive conversation with Sportiqo co-founder and chief product officer Anindya Kar to know more about the platform and the inspiration behind starting it.
Kar revealed that the idea of creating Sportiqo was not a calculated step towards entering the gaming industry, but rather a product conceived by one of the co-founders. “Three founders – Amit Raina, Saurabh Maloo and me – have a combined experience of 50 years in financial markets and trading, and we are also hard-core cricket fans and fans of sports in general,” said Kar. “The idea of Sportiqo actually came from our co-founder Amit, who wanted to come up with a product that uses cricket to teach people about trading and investment.” He shared how they initially experimented with different concepts but since they all are traders, the idea of being able to trade a player like a stock attracted them the most. The plan looked good on paper but turning it into reality seemed difficult. Hence, the team members kept coming up with creative ways to mimic the stock market functioning while keeping cricket as the core concept.
The concept they wanted to replicate was: “When a business does well and makes profits, its value goes up and accordingly the stock price also goes up. There is a link between the value of the business and the price of the stock. Similarly, when a player scores well, their value goes up based on the performance,” said Kar.
Data-Driven performance insights
The company makes use of the Performance Scoring System which converts players’ performance into an objective measure. Additionally, they employ a data science model that predicts the performance of a player based on factors such as their past performance and their probable score in the current tournament. These factors, among other things, influence the player’s price. To ensure transparency, Sportiqo displays player statistics on its website, enabling users to make mindful investment decisions.
Ensuring user privacy
Since Sportiqo is a trading platform, the creators understand that user’s privacy and data security is of utmost importance. The platform uses Cloudflare to store the data securely and uses AWS for its backend servers. For additional security, the creators have implemented a process where users receive OTP on their registered mobile number, which is required for app login.
Regarding the legalities involved in using the players’ names, Kar said, “In India and globally, the legal position is that as long as the players are representing the statistics and we are not giving an impression that the players are endorsing the platform, their names can be used. So, all we do is use publicly available statistics. We are not selling images or videos related to them. Hence, the app and the system is perfectly legal like any other fantasy sports.”
In recent years, fantasy sports has gained significant attention and has become a competitive market. Several new fantasy sports companies have emerged, catering to various sports like cricket, football, esports and others. As cricket holds a special place in India, a huge number of fantasy sports platforms – such as Dream11, Playerzpot, BalleBaazi, and MPL – offer services focused on cricket. But to thrive in this highly competitive market, the creators of Sportiqo believe that their unique services and products set them apart.
Currently, the Sportiqo app is available on iOS’ App Store, but the makers plan to make it available on Play Store soon. Interested users can even install the app from Sportiqo’s website.