Ohad Crystal (pictured ) is a serial entrepreneur and an angel investor with over 20 years of industry experience. In early 2019, Ohad joined Funatix Club as an angel investor and international business development advisor. A few months later he was appointed CEO of the company.
Fantasy football, how it works and what’s involved
In traditional fantasy sports games, each user gets a dedicated budget to create a “fantasy team”. The customised team is later ranked based on the real-time performance of the players in real life. For example, if a user chooses a particular striker for a fantasy dream team, and he scores a goal, they get an additional 50 points. The overall score of all of the user’s players is then compared to other players as part of a league table.
This is the classic fantasy sport which is played all over the world by millions of users. Our game is a ‘fantasy’ with a twist; by using the in-app currency, you can boost your team’s performance, train the players, hide your squad and take multiple different actions which will give your team an edge and show yourself as being ahead of the pack. Our unique features engage the fans far beyond the classic fantasy, as they engage with their team several times a day. Most of our younger users stay engaged by interacting with the game, watching commercials, answering surveys, and devoting time that extends well beyond the normal weekend fixtures. The fans that don’t have the time to buy the in-app currency in the application shop. We make sure Real Manager remains a skill-based fantasy game; this is achieved by helping users make smarter, more informed decisions and results reveal the winners are the most skilled players.
The main Esports countries in Europe
Fantasy sports in Europe is lagging behind the US market, especially when it comes to football but the potential is phenomenal. The biggest fantasy game in the world of football (soccer) is the Premier League fantasy game. Other than that, the market has no dominant player and this is where Funatix’s opportunity lies, offering the only official multi-league solution.
A few factors that will lead to significant growth of the fantasy market and Funatix include:
- Consumption matters – rights holders understand that unless they provide digital byte-sized activities to their younger fans they might lose them, and fantasy is one of the features that every competition is expected to hold.
- The betting industry has been deemed one of the most lucrative and rapidly developing industries in the world. and its partial overlap with Fantasy gaming creates a lot of interest and value in fantasy games.
- Right holders defend their rights (such as pictures of players, logos etc) primarily by means of digital enforcement; Funatix, unlike most of the market players, has fully licensed rights and therefore, as digital enforcement is increasing, it will remain incredibly important.
- Fantasy sports in Europe, Latin America and Asia is far from reaching its true potential and it is expected to become a Billion dollars market in the coming few years.
- How Ohad established Funatix Club as the official fantasy football game for the various leagues
The company’s expansion began when we started working with the Israeli league, which is also a shareholder in the company. When the partnership proved to be successful, we grew by word of mouth to three additional leagues across Europe. After that, and based on our experience, we had Liga MX, the biggest league in North America as our exclusive and official partner in the vast Mexican market.
In July of this year, we officially began our partnership with the Swiss Football league and are on the verge of signing with other territories in Europe, Asia, and SouthEast Asia.
We intend to add other sports to our portfolio in the coming months , with Basketball being the first. Europe, where we have a loyal and comprehensive fan base, will be the starting point for our products to come.
The challenges in generating investment as an Esports startup
In the next 5 years, all sports leagues will have a complementary fantasy league – the basic game has proved to be the most engaging reality-based game in sports attracting a lot of fans. Our game not only attracts fans but keeps them engaged on a daily basis, all season long.
In terms of our offering, Funatix offers a 100% full turn-key solution to a league. The game is a multi-platform and is fully managed with a Content Management System that enables automatic graphics creation based on LIVE data, changing in game sponsors with 1 click, personalized communication with the fan cohorts (Pop-Ups, Pushes), localization (Language, Graphics), and data collection (Rewarded Surveys). This is the most comprehensive fantasy manager solution on the planet, hence, Funatix is already the most trusted fantasy solution provider in the world of soccer. A gamified fantasy that interacts with the younger digital-age fans will be the standard going forward and Funatix will be driving this.
The future of Esports in a post-COVID world
We believe that the strongest e-sport is the one which is based on reality. “Real Manager” is an e- Manager game about reality – and we believe this is the future of ESports. There will be much more reality based e-games, driven by real sports events.
Covid-19 pushed our abilities to engage with our fans in more creative ways. not having real-life games, holds a risk that users will lose their interest, and this is where we had to be innovative and flexible. Luckily, our team managed to overcome this by incorporating new features and designs, and with the return of the games , the functionality of the platform is better than ever before.
About Funatix Club:
Funatix Club is a leading fantasy sports provider which develops engaging online sport-management games for fans across the globe. Co-founded by COO Yoni Simhon and CBO Lishar Bahar in 2015, the company’s Real Manager app aims to revolutionise the eSports ecosystem, through empowering younger fans to get more involved in fantasy games. With the backing of lead investor SIBF and Ohad Crystal, SIBF representative who has gone on to become CEO, Funatix Club is unique in that it boasts partnerships with many established football federations, leagues and media partners.
Funatix Club not only empowers fans’ experience but it increases user engagement and provides a comprehensive solution to common retention issues. The company, which is changing the way people consume sports, employs 24 people across its offices in Israel and Mexico. For more information, please visit http://funatix.club/