Dream11 “Makes Sports Better” with 100 Million Users on AWS
Official Partner of the 2020 Indian Premier League
The Indian fantasy sports market is booming, with a compound annual growth rate of 32 percent. Cricket continues to be the fan favorite sport in the country. Thus, when Dream11 became the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament in 2020, it cemented its status as the largest fantasy sports platform in India.
The Dream11 platform allows users to create a team of real players for an upcoming match and compete with other fantasy sports enthusiasts. Users can join organized contests and even create private fantasy sports contests with friends and family.
In 2020, Dream11 registered 100 million users on its platform, up from 2 million in 2016. The app’s extraordinary growth can be traced to the company’s data-driven culture. “Every decision we make is backed by data and technology, considering various metrics to continually add ‘wow factors’ that help retain customers,” explains Praveen Jain, vice president of Engineering at Dream11.
AWS promotes a user-first culture, with intuitive cloud-native services that help us launch things fast without any dependencies.
Vice President of Engineering, Dream11
Single-Digit Latency with 99.99% Uptime
Malicious cyberattackers are often drawn to sites with such a large digital customer base, so Dream11 takes the utmost care with data security. It relies on AWS Shield and AWS Web Application Firewall (AWS WAF) to protect against external intrusion attempts. The company also uses AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to apply employee access controls based on the principle of least privilege.
Dashboard Insights Accelerate Time-to-Market
Dream11 relies on Amazon Redshift as a data warehouse for transactional data and business intelligence reporting. Dream11’s core management team, as well as its finance and product teams, use the insights from data delivered in near-real-time dashboards to support decision making. “Our dashboard data provides insights into Dream11 users, so we can understand their preferences, experiment and develop new features, get fast feedback, and roll out accordingly,” Jain says.
Engineers at Dream11 can roll out small app enhancements in just 2–3 days and new products or large features in 1–6 weeks. “The various AWS technology offerings help us develop our prototypes and make them live very quickly, even at a massive scale,” Jain says. “This gives us a competitive edge in the market, where speed is essential.”
Driving the Social Aspect of Online Fantasy Sports
A recently introduced feature is the app’s ability to sync with contacts in users’ mobile phone books to find family and friends who are active participants. All these connections are enabled by using Amazon ElastiCache and a highly scalable Amazon Neptune graph database containing more than 20 million nodes and 200 million edges. “We are driving toward developing more relationships and enhancing the social aspect in order to retain users and provide the best possible sports engagement experience,” Jain says.
Multiple Machine Learning Applications
Additionally, Dream11 has developed its own ML models to help forecast demand of the contests running on the app. A team is dedicated to building these models with Amazon SageMaker. They have also developed ML models to detect fraud. The models flag users who are trying to collude or create fake accounts on the platform.
From a user perspective, participants benefit from ML-driven recommendations on which contests to join based on their past in-app behavior and other factors. At any given time, hundreds of contests are running simultaneously on the Dream11 platform, so time-conscious users greatly appreciate these recommendations.
Highly Skilled Engineers Support a Growing User Community
Jain concludes, “AWS promotes a user-first culture, with intuitive cloud-native services that help us launch things fast without any dependencies. The AWS solutions architects are always there to provide a greater perspective on how to use AWS so that we remain competitive in the market.”
Benefits of AWS
- Supports user base expansion from 2 million to more than 100 million in 4 years
- Ensures 99.99% uptime with single-digit millisecond latency
- Protects user data against external and internal intrusion
- Detects fraud and collusion attempts
- Personalizes recommendations for users based on past activities
- Enables social connections among users
- Launches small app enhancements in 2–3 days
AWS Services Used
No other data warehouse makes it as easy to gain new insights from all your data. With Redshift, you can query and combine exabytes of structured and semi-structured data across your data warehouse, operational database, and data lake using standard SQL.
Amazon Neptune is a fast, reliable, fully managed graph database service that makes it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected datasets.
Amazon SageMaker helps data scientists and developers to prepare, build, train, and deploy high-quality machine learning (ML) models quickly by bringing together a broad set of capabilities purpose-built for ML.
Amazon ElastiCache allows you to seamlessly set up, run, and scale popular open-source compatible in-memory data stores in the cloud.
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