PokerDangal is an online poker platform from Xeta Networks. Its tagline ‘Where Skills Meet Fortune’ aims to redefine Poker in India. One can play a variety of exciting tournaments and cash games in a safe game playing environment.
PokerDangal’s guiding principle is to develop the online gaming industry in India ensuring a safe, reliable and fun ecosystem for its players. It strives to give you the best poker experience.
In a conversation with Medianews4u, Varun Mahna, Founder & CEO, PokerDangal Shared the journey and the way forward.
Tell us about PokerDangal. About its inception and its journey so far?
PokerDangal is an online gaming platform that intends to redefine the gaming experience in India. Players possessing sharp gaming skills can leverage this online gaming platform to earn, evolve their game and play at a place and time of their convenience. PokerDangal offers a plethora of exciting tournaments and cash games to the players who want to put their skills to test in online Poker. The prime objective of this venture is to build a safer, more reliable and pleasurable online gaming ecosystem for all the potential players.
The idea came from being consumers ourselves. I was a keen poker enthusiast and started playing online in 2014. It was during this time that I realized that the services available are not up to the desired standards and on the other side the demand was surging. I met my engineering friend Varun Puri and discussed the potential of this business idea. Varun was quickly onboard and saw the potential of this becoming a business which is both scalable and sustainable apart from being a business of the future. Access to data, smartphone penetration and the ease of digital payments made this business idea even more alluring. In Feb 2017, Karan Gandhi and Shashwat Jain joined the team adding skill sets essential for the business. Shashwat has extensive experience in scaling startups and has unmatched data expertise. Karan understood the poker business as he himself is a long-term player and his knowledge of user behavior was unparallel. Together, we started the venture in May 2017 and we went live in Sep 2017.
It was a very tough ride from 2014 to 2017 to find the right team to execute the idea. Many of our peers whom we spoke to were not sure about the sector or were not willing to take the plunge. The idea was appreciated by most but not many were ready to take the decisive steps.
In the months leading to the product going live, we came up with our GTM strategy and the proof of concept was delivered within 3 months of going live. With minimal marketing spend, we were able to achieve a concurrency on the platform and managed to scale our operations organically. We started preparing for our launch 6 months prior to actually going live. The business required a lot of innovation while planning the Go To Market strategy as we were a bootstrapped organization. The initial traction was the key for our survival and we had made an extensive plan to get these users to our platform. From our friends and family to our social circle, we leveraged our contacts for us to garner our first 100 users. Customized promotions were offered to these players which increased their potential for engaging on the platform.
What growth has the business seen during the lockdown?
During the lockdown we have observed a growth of our user acquisition. The time spent per session by the users has also gone up. We have seen a spike in our user acquisition by more than 50% and the time spent on our platform has gone up by 70%.
How is the platform different from other Poker platforms?
PokerDangal is known for its professional values of delivering the utmost customer experience, hence, it provides excellent customer support round the clock. Consumers can relish an ultimate poker experience complemented with high safety standards. The platform has been certified by i-Tech labs, Australia ensuring the highest standards for its users.
What according to you are the challenges in the space that you operate?
The challenge with RMG gaming platform is the disposable income of the users. As the economy suffers there is a trickle effect on all the sectors. An operator has to provide the best service during these times to ensure the users are engaged on the platform and the user acquisition also plays a very important role in a time like this.
How do you expect to perform post Covid-19 scenario? What will some of the new normals become then?
The sector will continue to grow at a rapid pace in the months to come and will become mainstream soon.