Indian gaming VC fund Lumikai leads $5 million pre-series A funding for BuyStars

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Aman Satija and Sriram Krishnamoorthy, Founders of BuyStars
Aman Satija and Sriram Krishnamoorthy, Founders of BuyStars

– The funds raised will be utilized for product development and scaling up operations.
– With a monthly GMV of $1M and over 1.5M registered users, the company has shown promising growth.

India, March 15, 2023: Lumikai, India’s pioneering Gaming and Interactive-focused VC Fund, Chiratae, and Leo Capital have jointly led a $5 million pre-Series A round for BuyStars. The company will use the funding to fuel growth and introduce new games to the platform. With this investment, BuyStars has raised a total of $9 million to date.

Founded in 2021 by industry veterans Aman Satija and Sriram Krishnamoorthy, BuyStars is a sports collectibles and skill gaming company that offers various skill-based games, including fantasy, player trading, and trump cards. The platform seamlessly integrates these games to provide utility to collectibles. BuyStars employs deep game mechanics based on a robust economy that revolves around the trading of cricket player cards. It encourages all-season and year-long play, promoting long-term player engagement and retention by removing the seasonality and speculation of fantasy games. Since its inception in 2021, BuyStars has gained 1.5 million registered users and generates a monthly GMV of over $1 million.

Expressing his views on the funding received, Aman Satija, CEO & Co-founder of BuyStars said, “BuyStars was started with a mission to disrupt how cricket fans engage with games today. We are extremely pleased that our efforts are getting recognised. While funding is never a testament to a company’s success, however, when experienced investors decide to back a company, it’s definitely a great validation of the mission one started with and a tribute to the hard work of a team which came together to build it.”

Aman and Sriram, the founders of BuyStars, are experienced veterans of the Indian Real Money Gaming (RMG) industry, having previously held leadership positions in product and marketing at some of the country’s top RMG firms. They have also assembled a skilled leadership team across multiple verticals, including product, technology, growth, and revenue, at BuyStars.

Commenting on the investment, Salone Sehgal, Founding General Partner, Lumikai said, “Globally, the sports collectibles market is valued at $5.4B annually with sports cards trading growing at nearly 140% year-on-year in terms of volume. In India alone, skill based real money gaming and fantasy sports segment accounted for $1.5B of the $2.6B gaming industry in FY22, growing at a 25% 5-year CAGR. Aman and Sriram’s thesis around driving engagement and long-term retention via leveraging collectibles and trading cards for a fantasy focused audience base is deeply compelling. Product-led innovation in this segment is necessary to disrupt incumbents and unlock value. The team’s unique insights, deep expertise combined with current user traction already reveal early potential.”

Speaking on Leo Capital’s investment, the VC Firm’s partner Dinesh Singh said, “BuyStars is a uniquely positioned player in the fantasy sports landscape. Its skill-based approach puts forth a strong alternative to how users engage with fantasy games, and we believe, is poised to redefine the future of this segment. We continue to extend our confidence in BuyStars and its team’s vision, through our participation in the company’s pre-series A round.”

Saketh Katikaneni, AVP Investments, Chiratae Ventures commented, “While India remains one of the largest markets for Sports RMG, existing offerings are archaic, “gameplay” is nearly non-existent and incumbent formats do not appeal to a diverse user base. BuyStars plugs these holes with their category-creating gaming platform offering multiple inter-connected sports-based games, centered around a market of player cards and game assets. The company is well on its way to disrupt the Sports RMG market which is possibly the largest gaming opportunity in India.”