Dream Sports, the parent company of fantasy sports app Dream11, has secured $ 400 million in new round of funding as the Mumbai-based company builds what it calls a ‘sports technology company end-to-end ‘in the cricket-loving nation, which is also the world’s second largest internet market.
Secondary fundraising was led by TCV, D1 Capital Partners and Falcon Edge. The new round valued the startup at nearly $ 5 billion, up from around $ 2.5 billion in a mix of primary and secondary cycles in September last year.
Existing investors, including Tiger Global, ChrysCapital, TPG Growth, Steadview Capital and Footpath Ventures, also participated in the funding round, bringing Dream Sports’ total fundraising to date to more than $ 720 million. Avendus Capital acted as financial advisor to Dream Sports in connection with the transaction.
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 create virtual teams that include real players and allow them to stage matches based on those players’ statistical performance in real games. The platform offers fantastic cricket, football, kabaddi and basketball. Users earn cash prizes based on the performance of their selected team.
“It’s a huge vote of confidence in the Indian startup ecosystem. We created the Fantasy Sports category in India to foster digital engagement in real sporting events and bring fans closer to the sport they love. We are proud to continuously contribute to the global expansion of the Indian sports ecosystem. Our growth trajectory is also a testament to the Honorable Prime Minister’s vision for Atmanirbhar Bharat and Digital India, ”said Harsh Jain, co-founder and CEO of Dream Sports, in a statement.
The startup, whose Android app isn’t on the Play Store, said it has more than 100 million users. Dream11 was the title sponsor of last year’s IPL cricket tournament after betting $ 30 million for the spot.
“India is home to the world’s largest and most energetic sports fan base with a dynamic mix unique to the subcontinent. Dream Sports serves this community with a very innovative product offering, ”said Gopi Vaddi, general partner of TCV, in a statement. TCV has also supported Netflix, Airbnb, Sportradar and Peloton.
Dream11 is not the only company to carve out a niche in the fantasy sports space in India. The 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 last 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 editor of IGN India, said in a previous interview with TechCrunch.