Hitwicket Raises USD 3M in funding from Prime Venture Partners
Hitwicket, India’s top rated multiplayer cricket gaming app, announced the launch of Hitwicket Superstars, the most immersive multiplayer cricket strategy game. Hitwicket has also raised USD Three Million in funding from Prime Venture Partners to create a strategy-driven gaming studio and deliver world-class cricketing action to over a billion cricket fans globally. The startup will use the fresh funds to add more features that revolve around multiplayer access where gamers can strategize in real-time and play against each other. Winners of PM Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge in the gaming category in 2020, Hitwicket combines the global appeal of cricket with the accessibility of mobile gaming & aims to become the first Mobile Esports IP in the Cricket Games category from India.
Founded by Keerti Singh and Kashyap Reddy, Hitwicket requires gamers to plan their strategy in order to win instead of a swipe-action, where gamers play on every “ball” and score accordingly. Hitwicket has over three million gamers across 100 countries with more than 30% users from outside India and from over 200 cities in India. It logs 1.3 million minutes of gameplay each day, with an average user session lasting 45 minutes as opposed to the global average of 23 minutes. Challenging the stereotype of the male gamer, 17% of Hitwicket gamers are women and it is the world’s first virtual cricket league game to introduce women cricketers. It also has a vibrant Discord community of over 17,000 active members.
Hitwicket Superstars is a new multiplayer cricket strategy game that allows gamers to go beyond playing cricket and don the hat of a Team manager. The strategy in Hitwicket mimics how the game plays out on the cricket pitch. Instead of the conventional bat and ball gameplay, the core loop of the game is set in a virtual world where users can manage and build an ultimate team by employing nuanced strategy elements to climb up the global leaderboards. Gamers can access all the vital information about their squad, playing eleven, match history on their fingertips. They can also head to their player’s page and upgrade them to strengthen their squad. These detailed dashboards help them strategise better against other players and get an advantage over them by making the ultimate cricket team.
Hitwicket enables gamers to compete against other teams globally in various leagues and one-on-one matches organized on the app throughout the year and also hosts the Virtual Cricket League (VCL) which offers the most immersive cricket league experience in real time on a mobile app. It uses artificial intelligence, along with extensive data analysis to drive up user engagement. The game is optimized for all mobile phones and tablets and is available for a free download across all app stores.
With the rise of the use of smartphones in India, the online gaming industry has witnessed an unprecedented rise. A growing younger population, higher disposable income, inexpensive internet data, introduction of new gaming genres, and increasing number of smartphone and tablet users are some of the reasons for the boom in the sector. According to a report by KPMG, India’s gaming industry is expected to triple in value and reach $3.9 billion by 2025. Additionally, the total number of online gamers in India has grown to 390 million in 2021, as per a report by EY and FICCI, with an estimation that the number of gamers is expected to cross 450 million by 2023.
Hitwicket is looking to venture into NFTs & Blockchain gaming and plans to make India a prime hub for e-sports championships. It is orchestrating an all-ambitious Hitwicket World Cup, India’s first and one-of-a-kind Esports Mobile Gaming Cricket Tournament, tentatively scheduled for 2023. The tournament will see gamers from all across the globe compete in a virtual IPL-like tournament at zonal, state, national, and international levels. Zonal contests between local team owners would lead to state-level competitions, which would in-turn segue into national and international matches.Indeed, a global orchestration of this scale operating at granular, grassroots levels shall create income generation possibilities for in-game team owners, local sponsors and game veterans willing to mentor contestants for a price.
Headquartered in Hyderabad, Hitwicket is among the top 10 global sports startups recognised by HYPE, UK for their AI powered game engine. It was also a part of the Google Game Accelerator programme in 2018 and was recognised as a “High-growth potential” gaming startup. It is not only the highest-rated cricket game (4.5 on Play Store) but also tops the rating charts in the overall gaming category.
Currently investing out of its USD 120 million Fund IV, Prime Venture Partners is typically the first institutional investor in startups and focuses on companies with an innovative approach to solving fundamental problems through technology. Prime’s mission is to partner early with entrepreneurs and help build world-class technology companies that are addressing some of India’s most important problems. Prime’s prominent Limited Partners include International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, a top-tier University endowment, global family offices and institutions, and numerous global technology entrepreneurs. In addition to prior focus areas, the firm has expanded its portfolio into new areas, notably, EVs, B2B, Web3 and Gaming infrastructure platforms.
Shri. Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary – IT, Govt. of Telangana
“It is amazing to see a vibrant gaming ecosystem evolving in Telangana. With the phenomenal talent in India and the booming startup sector, the time is ripe for the country to lead the way in building games for a global audience. The gaming industry has the potential to be a huge source for employment and education for people across the country and I am proud to see companies in Telangana leading the way. I have been closely following the growth of HitWicket since they won the Aatmanirbhar Challenge and it is great to see them raising funds to fuel further growth. Hitwicket is a great example of technology and innovation coming together to give the world one of the the biggest strategy games in cricket, built in India for Indian and the world!”
Keerti Singh, Cofounder, Hitwicket
“The mobile gaming industry is one of the fastest growing industries in India. Cricket as a sport exists at very grassroots levels in the country and from kirana store owners to working professionals — a deep, intellectual discourse surrounding the game pervades every segment of our society. Hitwicket is designed exclusively for cricket fans across the globe who are looking to move away from the conventional bat and ball gameplay by engaging in a much more engaging format that involves strategy and deep thinking. This is just the beginning of cricket esports tournaments for our users. We are committed to offer varied Hitwicket experiences for our fans and the global cricket community in the months to come.”
Kashyap Reddy, Cofounder, Hitwicket
“We are thrilled to be backed by Prime Venture Partners. They share the same vision and passion as ours for cricket and gaming in India. We are on the path towards creating a truly world-class gaming experience for a billion cricket fans globally and are transforming the experience for our users by providing highly engaging cricket strategy games. Hitwicket is working towards becoming the first Mobile Esports IP in the Cricket Games category from India and we believe that we are well positioned to drive this change in India for cricket fans across the world.”
Shripati Acharya, Managing Partner, Prime Venture Partners
“India is witnessing a massive growth in the gaming industry. Users between the ages of 20 and 40 form the bedrock of gaming and esports communities worldwide and India is one of the most interesting global gaming markets. Hitwicket is pushing the envelope on innovation in gaming by hosting India’s first and one-of-a-kind Esports Mobile Gaming Cricket Tournament for Cricket fans from across the globe. We are delighted to be a part of Hitwicket’s journey to create a global gaming franchise out of India.”
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