Delivering ‘cricket scale’: The startup powering Disney+ Hotstar’s World Cup streaming record


Sohini Mitter

16 reads

Sohini Mitter

16 reads

Last9, a Peak XV Partners-backed software reliability startup, is delivering Disney+ Hotstar’s record-breaking streaming numbers in the ongoing Cricket World Cup. Born in India though HQ-ed in California, Last9 is being lauded in the tech community for solving hard infrastructure SaaS problems.

October 20, 2023


35,000,000, or 35 million. 

That was the number of live concurrent viewers on Disney+ Hotstar during the India-Pakistan World Cup match on October 14. To put that in perspective: 190 out of 234 countries in the world have a population lower than that. The viewership figure isn’t just a World Cup high, it is also an all-time global streaming record for any sports match ever played, bettering the 32 million recorded by JioCinema during the IPL 2023 final earlier in May.

While this was unfolding in India, immigrant techie Piyush Verma woke up in Sunnyvale, California, to a WhatsApp message from someone. It read: ‘3.5 cr. Live Ind-Pak, all good on Last9’. Very pleased, he took to Twitter (now X) to share the message and wrote: “Little did we know that in such a short span of time, we would reach a point where: If it's cricket in India, it would be on @last9io”


Three years, 4 IPLs, 3 World Cups, and counting—Last9, a fairly under-discovered software reliability startup, has been building, tracking, and managing the underlying infrastructure of, what VCs call, “the cricket scale”.

It has hit new highs with every live event it has served. With more than half the matches in World Cup 2023 yet to be played, there’s hope that the 35 million would be bettered in a few weeks. Even as the kudos pour in, Verma, Last9’s co-founder and CTO, is “humbled and overwhelmed” that he gets a chance to serve a sport that he grew up loving since his boyhood. 

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