Egyptian fantasy football platform Eksab has raised a US$3 million seed funding round to help it scale across the Middle East and Africa.
Launched in 20178, Eksab – which means “earn” or “win” in Arabic – aims to make football more exciting for fans through gaming and online community building. Players can choose free or premium competitions, make predictions and choose line-ups, with winners climbing the leaderboard and winning cash and prizes.
Eksab currently has over 700,000 registered users in Egypt, with its user base making over a million “picks” each month. Since the launch of its premium competitions in 2021, the startup has grown its paying user base by an average of 60 per cent month-on-month, and it has also already partnered with more than 10 top-tier Egyptian football players and content creators.
The startup now plans further expansion after raising a US$3 million seed round, led by 4DX Ventures with participation from Darwazah Capital, Golden Palm Investments, P1 Ventures, and a number of strategic angel investors from the local and global sports and entertainment ecosystem. 4DX Ventures also invested in Eksab, which has now raised US$3.7 million in total, in 2020.
Eksab will deploy the capital to scale its user base across the MENA region and Africa, invest in product development, talent acquisition for engineering, product, and execute partnerships with a number of leading global football clubs. Currently, it is the first and only licensed fantasy football platform in Egypt, and it plans to acquire licences to operate in three additional countries by mid-2022.
As it invests further in its technology, Eksab is currently adding functionality to integrate with leading blockchain-based platforms to enable football fans to capitalise on Web 3.0’s increased speed and transparency.
“This is a phenomenally high growth period in our business as we look to take our platform to new audiences. We are also really excited to have some leading global investors and partners join this round. The fact that our previous investors are all doubling-down on Eksab highlights the great effort the team has put in over the last 12 months and the massive opportunity in the sector,” said Aly Mahmoud, Eksab’s founder and CEO.
“With the growth of Web3 and play-to-earn gaming, we see Eksab as being at the forefront of the digital transformation of football, content, community and gaming across Africa and the Middle East.”
Dan Marlo, managing partner at 4DX Ventures, said his firm had been consistently impressed by the growth Eksab had demonstrated over the past 12 months.
“The football gaming market is enormous globally, but especially in MENA. Eksab has built a product and a community that has been rapidly growing in the MENA region but can easily scale across the continent – which fits 4DX’s investment ethos perfectly,” he said.