rario: NFT platform Rario’s FY23 losses widen more than ten-fold to Rs 560 crore

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Rario, a cricket-focused non-fungible tokens (NFTs) platform, reported an over ten-fold increase in losses to Rs 560 crore in the fiscal year ending March 2023, partly due to a write-off of intangible assets amounting to Rs 458 crore related to its NFTs. In FY22, the firm had incurred a loss of Rs 47 crore.

Backed by real money gaming firm Dream Sports, Rario’s operating revenue grew to Rs 39 crore in FY23, compared to Rs 1 crore a year earlier, according to filings made by the firm’s holding entity Digital Collectibles based in Singapore.

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Rario’s total expenses jumped over 12 times to reach Rs 599 crore in FY23. The largest chunk of these expenses was attributed to a write off of intangible assets through amortisation and impairment, amounting to Rs 458 crore.

This was likely related to the firm’s NFTs, often regarded as intangible assets. Other noteworthy expenses included employee benefit expenses, professional fees and advertising.

In April 2022, the platform raised $120 million in a funding round led by Dream Capital, the venture capital arm of Dream Sports. However, in September 2023, the firm saw the exit of founders Ankit Wadhwa and Sunny Bhanno as a global downturn in crypto assets severely impacted the company.

The startup has been in a legal battle with Dream Sports’ competitor and Mobile Premier League’s unit Striker, which had introduced a similar platform. Striker used caricatures created by independent artists for digital player cards instead of purchasing expensive player licences that Rario had spent considerable amounts of money on. The Delhi High Court, however, rejected Rario’s plea against Striker and MPL in April 2023.

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On December 15, Striker itself shut down its operations with one of its cofounders, Krisha Mohan Vedula, exiting MPL.The wider RMG industry has seen widespread layoffs amid the implementation of 28% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the industry, with multiple smaller players having to shut shop.
In August, companies like MPL took to laying off 350 employees.

Similarly, Hike and Spartan Poker also implemented large-scale layoffs, affecting hundreds of staffers. Smaller firms like Fantok and Quizzy temporarily suspended operations after the introduction of the new tax regime.

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