Mumbai-based Dream Sports, the owner of fantasy sports platform Dream11, on Monday announced that it has raised $225 million (Rs 1,650) in a funding round led by New York investment firm Tiger Global Management, TPG Tech Adjacencies (TTAD), homegrown private equity firm ChrysCapital, and Footpath Ventures.
The amount was raised through a mix of primary and secondary transactions, Dream Sports said in a statement.
“We welcome our new partners in this phase of our growth. We have grown from one to many brands and from 200 Sportans (employees of Dream Sports) to 450 in the last two years. I am proud of our lean yet highly efficient team that has been the driving force behind the creation of ‘Sports Tech’ as a new industry category in India,” Dream Sports COO and co-founder Bhavit Sheth said.
Founded in 2012 by Harsh Jain and Sheth, Dream11 offers fantasy games in categories such as cricket, football, kabaddi, and basketball. It was reportedly in talks with several investors, including Eduardo Saverin’s VC firm B Capital Group, since earlier this year to raise funding.
It was valued at $1.1 billion following the completion of a secondary investment by Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital in April last year. The startup had closed a $100-million Series D funding round led by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings in September 2018. The round had also seen participation from Kalaari Capital and Multiples PE.
“In the last two years, we have grown beyond fantasy sports to sports content, merchandise, streaming, experiences, and there is much more to come,” Dream11 CEO and co-founder Jain said.
Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Dream Sports for the transaction.
COVID-19 has proved to be a boon for online gaming startups as people stayed at home due to lockdowns. In India, which went into a nationwide lockdown in March, traffic to gaming sites has surged in the last few months. Moreover, the ban on PUBG Mobile in the country has also opened an array of opportunities for other esports companies that are experimenting with other genres in gaming.
According to a report by Maple Capital Advisors, the gaming industry in India is expected to touch $3.7 billion by 2024 fuelled by a growth in digital infrastructure and a substantial rise in quality and engaging gaming content. Currently, the sector is valued at $930 million.
Earlier this month, fantasy sports platform Fantasy Akhada raised funding from Indian cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle. Vernacular real-money gaming platform WinZO has, too, raised $18 million funding from Makers Fund, Courtside Ventures, and others.