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Baazi Games

1. Can you give us an overview of your company's journey, including its inception, core values, and how it has evolved over time?

Baazi Games is an Indian online gaming company that was founded in 2014 by Navkiran Singh with his co-founders Puneet Singh, Anirudh Chaudhry, Avneet Rana, and Varun Ganjoo. The company started with a single product, PokerBaazi, which is now India's largest online poker platform. The company has since grown to include a wide portfolio of games including popular skill based RMG games like Rummy, and Fantasy Sports.

The company has been built with a strong foundation around 5 key value pillars of:

  • Customer centricity

  • Technology led solutions

  • Data driven decision making

  • Ownership led execution

  • Succeed or die trying work attitude

2. As an early-stage company, what are some of the key milestones you have achieved?

A user base of over 13 Million.

Taking the number 1 position for Poker in India and entering the global top 10.

A self made and owned product which has evolved to not just become the top product in India but also a strong global contender.

Diversification beyond online gaming. The company has invested in segments like sports manufacturing and offline sports academy.

3. What are some of the significant challenges your company faced during its growth, and how did you overcome them?

Changing the perception of Poker and promoting poker as a game of skill: The company has done this through its various marketing campaigns and educational initiatives. This has helped to change the perception of poker from a game of luck to a game that requires skill, strategy, and mental toughness. The company has also been active in promoting responsible gaming, and encouraging players to play responsibly. These efforts have helped to build trust and credibility for the brand and have contributed to the positive perception of poker in India.

Evolving policy: The company has had a front running representation in industry bodies in working with relevant stakeholders in the government to establish policies that help thrive online gaming in the country.

4. In what ways has Velo Partners actively supported and championed your company's growth and achievements?

Velo Partners is an investor who has always been available whenever any opinion is sought, especially Evan who has not just helped us build relevant industry connections and facilitate strategic discussions but also always backed us to execute our plans and be creative.

5. Can you describe a specific instance where your company's innovative approach or unique value proposition helped you stand out in a competitive market?

At the beginning: It was a conscious call to go with a product built in-house. Having control over the product has helped us in the long run to cater to the needs of our consumers and eventually making the product the USP itself.

The messaging: In a cluttered market where RMG companies sell money, we chose to spread awareness and create love for the game of Poker. This unique positioning had an overwhelming response from the market.

6. What have been some of the key lessons your company learned from setbacks or failures, and how did you use these experiences to pivot and grow stronger?

The spike in engagement during the initial phases of Covid-19 enforced lock down led to certain server crashes. Instead of short term fixes, the team went to the drawing board to bring in key structural product changes with a pledge to become a product which is not just rich in experience but also highly scalable.

7. What future goals and aspirations does your company have?

The company has a clear vision of making Poker a household name in India. While aiming to become the leader of the Indian gaming ecosystem, we plan for global expansion in the future.

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