On Friday, India-based Delta Corporation announced that they had purchased 31,994 equity shares from Halaplay Technologies, the founder of HalaPlay, an online fantasy sports website. The nearly 32,000 shares constitute 15.52% of the capital shares in HalaPlay and the final transaction to purchase the shares will be concluded by May 1.
In a filing required by the stock exchanges, Delta announced that they had invested the money to purchase the equity shares. As part of the transaction, Guassian Networks Private Limited, a subsidiary of Delta, will be transferring their fantasy sports division to HalaPlay. That will give Gaussian an additional 4.03% of the equity shares in HalaPlay.
That Delta would purchase shares in HalaPlay should come as no surprise to anyone. In November 2017, it was announced that Kae Capital and Nazara Games had each invested in the fantasy sports platform. HalaPlay had created some rather sophisticated algorithms to help users draft teams according to behavior and statistics the analytics had determined. Their programs were able to learn on the fly, helping to improve the experience for users.
Almost exactly a year later, it was announced that Nazara was looking to expand the operations. Through investments from WestBridge Capital and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the company sought to create four additional locations, with Africa and India being the primary destinations.
This allowed them to move beyond fantasy sports and into other endeavors, which included sports gambling. With sports gambling already becoming a huge business in India, the company sought to increase its revenue through expansion into the African continent.
Combined, Delta Corp and Gaussian Networks now own nearly a fifth of HalaPlay at 19.55% of the equity shares. This will not only allow it to dive into the fantasy sports world but should give them a significant role in the online gaming space where expansion is seen as a priority at Delta.
According to the HalaPlay website, the portal currently has over 2 million users, with annual revenues reaching as much as Rs. 2.98 crores at the end of 2018. Many of these users fall into one of the most sought after demographics, those between the ages of 20 and 27. This group is most often likely to get involved in fantasy sports and gaming, and having a foothold in a company with a proven track record should give Delta a real inroads into a whole new source of revenue.
HalaPlay is currently the second largest fantasy sports portal in India, trailing only Dream11, but it would not be surprising to see that change drastically. With Delta Corp now a significant investor into the company, they could soon find themselves at the top of the food chain.