FanClash, a Delhi NCR-based fantasy esports startup, has reportedly laid off around 75% of its workforce over the past year, according to sources. The company conducted the layoff exercise in three rounds, firing about 100 employees in total, the sources added. Those impacted by the layoffs were given a two-month salary as a severance package.
While FanClash has not responded to requests for comment, sources say that the company has been struggling since the Indian government banned battle royale game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) in July 2022. The sources said that FanClash used to earn a majority of its revenue from BGMI as the game was popular among customers from Tier-2 cities and beyond. As such, the ban on BGMI was a big blow to FanClash.
In addition to BGMI, FanClash also offers fantasy esports for games like FreeFire, COD Mobile, COD PC, Valorant, CS:GO, League of Legends, and DOTA 2, among others. However, the source said that fans of these games, unlike cricket and football fans, don’t actively play fantasy games. Because of this, FanClash decided to foray into cricket ahead of the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
FanClash’s troubles have led to several other setbacks for the company, including shutting down FanGuild, a fantasy Web3 gaming platform, and halting operations of its fan engagement platform FanSpace. However, the company has plans to pivot its business model to focus on fantasy esports based on computer game titles such as CS:GO and DOTA.
The layoffs took place months after FanClash raised $40 Mn in its Series B round in June 2022, a month before BGMI was banned. The funding round was led by Alpha Wave Global and saw participation from Sequoia Capital India, Polygon, and Info Edge.
Indian startups, including FanClash, have laid off over 23,000 employees since 2022, when the funding winter engulfed the Indian startup ecosystem, according to Inc42’s layoff tracker.
The layoffs at FanClash come at a time when other fantasy gaming platforms such as Dream11, My11Circle, and MPL are gearing up for one of the most popular T20 cricket tournaments, the IPL.
In conclusion, FanClash has reportedly laid off around 75% of its workforce in response to the ban on BGMI and struggles with revenue. The company is now focusing on fantasy esports based on computer game titles and has adequate funds to support its business plans.