Eksab, Egyptian fantasy football platform raises $3M in 4DX Ventures-led seed funding to scale across MENA and Africa

Eksab, Egyptian fantasy football platform raises $3M in 4DX Ventures-led seed funding to scale across MENA and Africa

Eksab, an Egyptian fantasy football platform that uses gaming and online community development to make football entertaining and participatory for fans in the Middle East and North Africa, has secured $ 3 million in early investment.

Darwazah Capital, Golden Palm Investments, P1 Ventures, and other angel investors from the sports and entertainment industries participated in the investment round which was led by 4DX Ventures.

Eksab intends to leverage this funding to expand its user base across MENA and Africa, according to the company. Part of the funds will be used for product development, engineering, and product team hiring and establishing partnerships with football clubs.

Founder and CEO of Eksad, Aly Mahmoud Eksab earlier in his 2018 interview had said that “Eksab’s mission is to make football more exciting for every football fan in the Middle East and Africa.”

Eksab began with a prediction game in which players design fantasy lineups and compete in free or paid tournaments. A leaderboard displays their performance, and winners receive cash and other incentives. Recently, the site began churning out material for users to acquire news and updates on their favorite players and teams, allowing them to make better fantasy judgments based on that knowledge.

Eksab’s long-term ambition is to build a fully integrated platform for play-to-earn football games, entertainment, analytics, NFTs, digital collectibles, and commodities.

Eksab takes a percentage of all costs charged on the platform, particularly on premium contests and products.

While working with a start-up incubator in Canada, Mahmoud came up with the idea for Eksab. He claimed he was inspired by incumbents like Dream 11, DraftKings, and FanDuel, as well as younger businesses like So Rare who are bringing web3 to the realm of fantasy sports. Others, such as DrafteaTo, are demonstrating what is feasible in places other than the United States and Europe.

“During my time there as well, I got exposed to the rise of DraftKings and FanDuel. My friends were playing these two games and while I didn’t know much about Canadian sports, specifically hockey, I found that playing these games was the easiest way for me to kind of get to know the sports and kind of develop that sense of camaraderie with my friends.” He said.

“I enjoyed the games and asked, ‘why is no one doing this for the hundreds of millions of football fans in the Middle East and Africa. So we did some research and realized there was a massive market gap for this kind of game [fantasy football] in the Middle East and Africa.” He explained.

Eksab’s platform presently has over 700,000 Egyptian users who compete in daily, weekly, and monthly fantasy and prediction tournaments. Its monthly user base totals over a million ‘picks,’ and the startup claims that since the debut of its premium contests in 2021, its paying user base has grown by an average of 60% month over month.

To spend even more on its technology, Eksab has announced that it would integrate with blockchain platforms to allow football fans to benefit from web3’s alleged speed and transparency.

“As a football fan, what would you want to do online? Buy jerseys, play favorite rite team’s players on your fantasy lineup, get news and stats on favorite players,” Mahmoud said.

“We want to build this in such a way that fans can get all these from one place and in a play-to-earn manner so every interaction you would make on our platform will earn you rewards which in turn you can use to enter more contests.” He added.

According to the founder, Eksab is Egypt’s only licensed fantasy football platform; in other words, it has little or no competition in Egypt or the Middle East and North Africa. CEO Mahmoud claimed his firm is on the verge of forming a collaboration with one of the greatest football teams in the Middle East and Africa, in addition to obtaining a license to operate in three more markets in the middle of this year.

And, as the World Cup comes in November, Eksab sees itself as ideally positioned to dominate the booming football gaming business in both areas, including for the first time in the Middle East (Qatar).

“We started with football because that’s the main sport that people care about. Given that the World Cup is also around the corner, we’re going to be spending a lot on partnerships with specific football players to grow our platform and our user base,” the CEO said.

“But once we feel like we’re confident that we’ve nailed football and we’re doing the best job that we can there, then we’re going to start unlocking other sports as it makes sense on a per market basis.”