9stacks is the best online poker platform, and chosen poker destination for new, as well as regular poker players in India to have fun, develop poker skills and win money. 9stacks is a professionally run Indian online poker platform and 100% legal in India. As a highly reliable, safe and trusted poker site in India, we process the fastest cashouts when you win money on 9stacks. Both the 9stacks website and the 9stacks app have an easy-to-use intuitive interface – and you can play online poker seamlessly, on your phone or computer; anytime, anywhere. India’s online poker platform with over 1 lakh which is fully compliant with all government rules and regulations, 9stacks offers a special sign up bonus to every new player who wants to get on the platform and use their skills to play cash games and online poker tournaments to win real money, every day.
According to 9stacks, Indian online gaming market is at the nascent stage with a huge potential of a long-term growth curve. The proliferation of smartphones, easy access to the internet, extremely affordable internet data plans and increasing access to online payment wallets are acting as the catalyst to accelerate this trend. The company also believes that in this rapidly evolving online gaming ecosystem, more and more users will be drawn to 9stacks based on its trust, branding and user experience. 9stacks primarily targets Millennial between the age group of 21-27 years to play poker. It especially focuses on new and recreational players who are discovering online poker and want to have a fun, safe experience. The entire process and system are diligently built to address customer queries and grievances quickly and effectively. 9stacks relies on high-tech innovation and tighter integration with financial service providers to ensure quick pay-outs to the winners in terms of gaining trust and optimizing brand value.
Sudhir Kamath, CEO & Co-Founder, 9Stacks, speaks exclusively to Medianews4u on the company, the on line gaming industry and much more……
9 Stacks how did it start?
9stacks started in 2017 with online poker. Today, it offers other skill games like quiz and fantasy sports too. 9Stacks captures its audience by offering a user-friendly, entertaining and easy interface backed by the best customer service in India. Its core business remains online poker, where users can learn to play the game on their website and also earn money once they’ve developed their skills playing the game.
9stacks started about 3 years back. Pratik (CMO & Co-Founder) who has headed product and marketing at start-ups like Zivame and Nykaa, is also a keen poker player. He observed that the existing poker sites in the country were far behind in product terms compared to other start-ups. At that point, Pratik, Rishab (CTO & Co-Founder), and I got together, spent the first few weeks researching the legal and regulatory aspects, and conceptualizing the product we wanted to build. Once we were convinced, we all committed to the venture full time. We decided this was a gap we could target – develop a cutting-edge product that would help attract and retain new poker players and therefore lead to significant growth of the industry.
It took us about 6 months to get our product live in the market. In the meantime, we raised our first round of angel funding of 10 crores (entirely from ex-colleagues) and started building our team.
How has the business been in times of Covid-19 and especially in the lockdown? Can you share numbers such as time spent, active users, downloads, etc.
At 9stacks poker, we had seen a sharp increase in gameplay due to more people staying at home (and having more free time) due to the coronavirus lockdown. There had been a 30% uptick in the number of concurrent users (i.e., users that are logged in and playing at the same time), and in total games played each day. In addition, referrals and new sign-ups had also increased by almost 100% as compared to the pre-corona period.
Overall, while the current 100% increase in usage and revenue is transient, there will probably be a lasting uplift of 30-40% for online poker companies
– Overall user base (poker): 350,000
– Overall user base (all games): close to 650,000
– On a year-on-year basis, our paying user base has gone up about 25%
– Average age group: 18-30, however, due to lockdown we have seen a spike in players between the age group of 35-45 as well.
– The average time spent per user has increased from roughly 50 minutes per day to about 80 minutes as compared to last year.
– a 38% increase in the number of games played in 2020 as compared to 2019.
– a 25% increase in the number of paying customers for the same period.
What according to you is the scope in fantasy games space?
Without live sports, there cannot be any fantasy sports either. Effectively, the industry had been on a pause for the last few months because of the lockdown but now since IPL and CPL and other sports leagues are starting off, we are confident that the fantasy sports industry will continue on its previous growth path. Given the scope for fantasy games is massive especially in a country like India with such a big youth population.
On a side note, we have a fantasy sports platform named faboom.com -which we had launched last year.
What made you create the concept of Voice-Enabled tables?
Amidst the pandemic, most of the population is stuck at home and of course, avoid gatherings, leading to missing out on meeting and socializing with family and friends. We at 9Stacks then thought of bringing a way for people to stay connected and enjoy time with dear ones without leaving the safety and comfort. It was this June, where for the first time in the poker industry we launched a feature called “Voice-Enabled Private Tables”, where one can talk to their friends as they play – earlier there was just a chat feature. Through the private table option, gamers can reserve tables to play with their friends and family anytime. Voice-Enabled Table feature is enabled only on private tables where friends, colleagues, and families can come together to play poker and also talk while they are playing.
How are you inventing around the various business models and revenue avenues?
As a start-up targeting an exciting and fast-growing market, we keep fine-tuning our business model and innovating both the core and at the edges.
To take one example, we have launched newer variants like 5-card PLO and mixed tables (where rounds alternate between Texas Poker and PLO), and are currently evaluating a couple of other ones. Some will appeal to customers, some won’t – we believe in launching, looking at the data on customer response and then iterating further.
We have also brought in the concept of in-app purchases to real money gaming, where recreational players can pay for some micro-purchases that make the game more fun for them without affecting the outcome of the game – it is the equivalent of buying a new skin in PubG or Fortnite.
Last but not the least, we are the first online poker site to have enabled Hindi in our poker app, making it accessible to many more players and opening up entirely new markets for us
What are your expectations from this voice-enabled feature?
9Stacks is committed to providing creative solutions and leverage on-going trends to cater to our audience in the best possible way. When you consider the Voice-Enabled feature and private tables for users to play only with their friends and relatives, we think we have a recipe for lasting retention. We realized that there are a lot of recreational players who want to connect with their friends and family over a game of poker but during the Lockdown which is the time for restrictions they were unable to do so.
Basically, it is like hosting a poker party sitting at home, with complete authority to choose who all can be a part of that.
We expect our players to also have some fun while playing poker.
Would you like to add anything else?
9stacks has also come up with a one-day tournament series for all its players called as “Azaadi74” which will be held on 15th August at 9stacks.com With the AZAADI74 Series, the gamers get to play six tournaments on a single day, and if their overall performance puts them in the top 10 for the day then each of the players will win Rs. 7,400/- from the Azaadi74 leaderboard prize! Also, the player with the highest leaderboard points will also get a 9stacks premium poker chipset.