Fantasy Sports Startups Revolutionizing the Fan Experience

Fantasy Sports Startups Revolutionizing the Fan Experience

Fantasy sports, a concept with a rich history, has been catapulted to new heights by the emergence of startups.

In the world of sports, being a fan has traditionally involved watching games, cheering for your favorite teams and discussing the latest highlights with fellow enthusiasts. However, with the advent of fantasy sports games, being a sports fanatic has taken on a whole new dimension. No longer are fans limited to being mere spectators; they can now actively participate and experience the thrill of managing their own virtual teams.

Fantasy sports, also known as rotisserie sports, are online games, where participants create their own teams of real-life athletes and compete based on their performances. As virtual team managers, participants draft, trade and select players to form their lineups. They can play for free or enter paid contests with cash prizes. These games revolve around predicting and analyzing real-life sports matches, allowing participants to compete against others individually or in groups.

Unleashing imagination, revolutionizing the fan experience

As fantasy sports startups continue to innovate and evolve, the future of the fan experience looks brighter than ever. With advancements in virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, fans can expect even more immersive and personalized experiences. Whether it’s creating virtual arenas, simulating game scenarios or offering predictive analytics, these startups are poised to revolutionize the way we engage with sports, blurring the lines between reality and virtuality. Furthermore, the ability to engage in friendly banter, trade players and strategize with fellow enthusiasts has enhanced the sense of camaraderie and engagement among fans.

In addition to transforming the fan experience, fantasy sports startups have also made a significant impact on the sports industry as a whole. These startups have forged partnerships with major sports leagues and teams, providing them with a new avenue for fan engagement and revenue generation. Sponsors and advertisers have recognized the immense potential of reaching highly engaged and passionate fantasy sports participants, leading to increased investment in this burgeoning industry.

In this article, we will delve into the world of fantasy sports startups and explore how they have transformed how fans engage with sports. We will also examine the impact of these startups on the fan universe.


Dream11, founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, is an Indian fantasy sports startup that has captivated sports enthusiasts nationwide. The startup’s inception was inspired by the introduction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. Initially, Dream11 began as a personal endeavor driven by the founders’ passion for English football fantasy leagues. Their vision was to create an equivalent of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but for other sports in India.

As a fantasy sports platform, Dream11 allows users to create virtual teams by selecting real-life players from various sports such as cricket, football, basketball and more. Participants then earn points based on their on-field performance and compete against fellow fans. 

Dream11’s main source of revenue is derived from the platform fee it collects from users who engage in real-money fantasy sports competitions offered on its platform. With a worldwide presence, the platform boasts over 150 million active users.


DraftKings is a U.S.-based fantasy sports and betting company. Established in 2012 by Jason Robins, Matt Kalish and Paul Liberman, the company played a significant role in revolutionizing the conventional fantasy sports format by allowing users to engage in more frequent competitions and place bets. 

Users can play and bet on various sports and leagues, such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and popular soccer leagues like the Premier League. In traditional fantasy sports, participants create teams of players who earn points based on their real-life performance. The participant with the most points at the end of the season wins.

DraftKings elevates this concept by offering daily fantasy sports. Users can create teams for a single game day. Single game day in the context of daily fantasy sports means that instead of drafting players for an entire season, participants select players solely for a one-day contest. For example, on a Sunday participants can create a lineup of players and their performance on that particular day determines the number of points they earn. This is different from traditional fantasy sports, where players are drafted for the entire season.

DraftKings users can also compete in tournaments or head-to-head contests. Prizes vary based on the number of players and entry fees. At present, DraftKings’ daily fantasy sports offering is accessible in 44 states across the United States, as well as in select Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom. The company generates revenue through fees, advertising and partnerships in the sports industry.


Launched in 2009, FanDuel has emerged as a top sports betting platform and a prominent fantasy sports application. Originally known as Hubdub, the Edinburgh-based company started its journey as an innovative online prediction market platform. It provided users with a unique opportunity to earn virtual currency by making accurate predictions about the outcomes of significant news events. However, facing limitations, the company shifted its focus to American sports.

The platform empowers users to create their own fantasy teams for the upcoming day or week’s fixtures. Users can engage in friendly competition by placing bets on the performance of their teams against their friends or the larger FanDuel community. This exciting feature adds a layer of interactive gameplay, enhancing the overall user experience. 

In addition to fantasy sports, FanDuel provides various products such as sportsbooks, casino gambling and online horse race betting. The company generates revenue by retaining some of the entry fees that fans pay to participate in competitions.

These are just a few examples of popular fantasy sports platforms that have been revolutionizing the fan experience. However, the fantasy sports industry thrives with numerous other platforms making their mark. Some other notable names in the industry include ESPN Fantasy, Yahoo Fantasy Sports and CBS Sports Fantasy. These platforms offer unique features and cater to various sports enthusiasts.

The not-so-playful side of fantasy sports

While fantasy sports can offer entertainment and engagement, it is crucial to acknowledge that excessive engagement in these activities can lead to addictive behavior and hurt mental health. Numerous cases have highlighted the detrimental effects of prolonged involvement in fantasy sports on individuals’ lives. According to a study conducted in 2022, playing fantasy football was found to be associated with a decline in mental health, with the severity worsening as the amount of time spent playing increased. It is essential for individuals to prioritize their mental health, set boundaries on their involvement and seek support if they notice any signs of distress or functional impairment.

Additionally, participation in fantasy sports involves financial risks. Users may invest significant amounts of money in entry fees and bets, with the possibility of experiencing financial losses. Users must also exercise caution, set realistic budgets and avoid spending more than they can comfortably afford.

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