As you know, I launched CricketRadius.com on April 2nd. It is my second stint at entrepreneurship after SaleRaja earlier. In this article I will try to answer what idea I had so as to convince me to leave Yahoo and jump full time into this. Being very frank, I got the idea (and it is still refining) after leaving Yahoo. I had a very basic vision of doing something to connect fans when I left Yahoo, but the idea of a social network and what all features it will have have only come in the last three months. See below paragraphs to know more about the problem, the market and the solution.
As a cricket fan, right now there are websites where you can check scores, read articles and stories written by former players and experts. Cricinfo, CricBuzz, CricketNext, Yahoo Cricket are some of the popular names. There are also a lot of fan blogs where bloggers share their views about the game. But there is no platform which gives you a cricket profile, where you can express your love for your favorite teams, players, stadiums and matches. There is no platform where all the fans can come together and share the experience which comes when our team wins, or our favourite player gets a century or a hat-trick. We watch cricket and enjoy it with our friends and family, and that is where the real love and joy for the game comes out.
We can obviously share about cricket on social networks like facebook and twitter. But it is annoying when you share about your favorite team on social networks, and every other non-cricket update gets in the way? Like someone’s birthday wishes, or what dish has one cooked, or some funny pic about a guy getting hit by a car. Wouldn’t it be great if you could talk just about Cricket?
CricketRadius is a social network for cricket fans by cricket fans. Interact with others who have cricket in their blood, and discuss about your favorite players, teams and ongoing matches. Check in to the players and teams you are watching, score runs and let the world know your cricket acumen. Also, score runs and get rewarded on the way.
Currently there are more than 100 million Indian internet users, of which 45 million are on facebook. There is no need to quantify in numbers the popularity of cricket and how many of these users visit various cricket websites or share about cricket on facebook and twitter. This number is expected to rise to 300 million by 2014, according to Google India. A large young population (more than 50% of Indians will be under 30 by 2015) with better incomes and a growing economy are all reasons for this impending growth.
Online advertising in India is only worth $200 million, of which $100 million is of Google alone. Online ads and engagement models have yet to catch on in India, considering the global online ad market is $ 80 billion while global revenue for Google is $29 billion. This despite the fact that India is the third largest internet populace, only behind US and China. Some more figures can be found at http://thenextweb.com/in/2011/09/16/internet-users-to-triple-in-india-by-2014-google/
This presents to me a huge gap and a product missing for an ardent cricket fan like me. Cricket is something about which I am really passionate about, and it has been a dream come true creating a product which more than anyone else, I want to use and share with my cricket lover friends.