Dream Sports, the parent company of fantasy sports app Dream11, has secured $ 225 million in a new round of funding as the Mumbai-based company builds what it calls a “stubble sports technology company end “in the cricket-loving nation, which is also the second largest internet market in the world.
Tiger Global Management, TPG Tech Adjacencies (TTAD), ChrysCapital and Footpath Ventures have funded $ 225 million in Dream Sports through primary and secondary investments, the 12-year-old Indian company said.
The new round values Dream Sports at more than $ 2.5 billion, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. Dream11 has raised around $ 325 million to date.
Dream11 has capitalized on the popularity of cricket, a game that has garnered a lot of attention from several major companies, including Disney and Facebook. Dream11 explores the fantasy part of it, allowing players to choose their best players for an upcoming match. They can win cash prizes based on the performance of their selected team.
This year, Dream11 is also the title sponsor of the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, one of the most popular sporting events in the world. The startup won the rights, previously held by Chinese smartphone supplier Vivo, by offering $ 30 million. Vivo had to abruptly withdraw from sponsorship amid geopolitical tensions between the two nuclear-weapon nations.
The new IPL season kicks off later this week after months of delay due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“The sports sector has great potential for growth in India. There is a significant opportunity to improve the fan experience and we are excited to partner with Dream Sports to leverage technology in a way that deepens the connection between Indian fans and the sports they love, ”said Akshay Tanna, managing director of TPG, in a statement.
In recent years, Dream Sports has expanded to other categories such as merchandise. Harsh Jain, CEO and co-founder of Dream Sports, said in a statement today that the startup has amassed more than 100 million users. (The Dream11 app isn’t on the Google Play Store, and the startup relies on people who use their mobile website or load their Android app on their phones.)
“As a local Indian company, we are proud to continue to add value to our 10 million Indian sports fans, investors, employees and the entire sports ecosystem in India. Over the past couple of years, we’ve moved beyond fantasy sports to offer sports content, merchandise, streaming, experiences, and there’s a lot more to come. Our vision is to “make sport better” for India and Indian fans through technology and sport innovation, ”he added.
Avendus Capital acted as financial advisor to Dream Sports in connection with the transaction.
Dream11 is not the only company to carve out a niche in the fantasy sports space in India. Internet-backed Premier League Sequoia Capital India and Times is also a major player, which has expanded to traditional mobile games in recent months. ShareChat, backed by Twitter, also quietly started experimenting with fantastic sports earlier this year.
But fantasy sports still face regulatory hurdles in parts of India. Several Indian states, including Assam, Odisha, Sikkim and Telangana, have banned fantasy sports betting.
“It also doesn’t help the things that the fantasy sports industry’s attempts at legitimacy involve trying to be seen as video games – a quick glance at a panel of speakers for any event from. Indian video game developer is proof of that – rather than riding on its own merits, ”Rishi Alwani, longtime Indian game market analyst and publisher of the Mako Reactor media outlet, said in a previous interview with TechCrunch.