After gaining the title sponsorship of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, India’s largest fantasy gaming platform Dream11 is close to signing deals worth USD 235 million with venture capitalists and private equity firms in a fresh round of funding.
This move, according to The Indian Express, is aimed at reducing the share of Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd, which currently holds a 10-13 per cent stake in Sporta Technologies Pvt Ltd, the owner of Dream11. Tencent had invested USD 100 million into Dream11 in 2018 during its phase Series D funding.
The new deal will involve raising USD 35 million through new funding and the sale of secondary shares worth USD 200 million, possibly bringing down Tencent’s stake down to single digits.
Along with Tencent, Dream11 also counts Multiples Alternate Asset Management, San Francisco-based Think Investments, US hedge fund Steadview and Vani Kola-led Kalaari Capital among its investors.
If the deal goes through, the valuation of Dream11 will go beyond USD 2.5 billion.
Dream11 had recently inked a deal with the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), acquiring the title rights of IPL 2020 for a reported sum of INR 222 crore after the exit of Vivo as this year’s title sponsor.
Founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Seth in 2008, Dream11 has been steadily pursued by investors owing to its success in the fast-growing Indian fantasy gaming market.
Its revenue trebled to INR 800 crores in the financial year 2019 from INR 230 crores in the previous financial year, according to Tracxn.
The Mumbai-based fantasy platform grew from two million users in 2016 to 50 million in 2019 and currently boasts over 80 million users on its pay-to-play platform. It was also the first Indian gaming company to attain unicorn status when its valuation went past USD 1 billion in 2019.
Apart from cricket, Dream11 currently offers fantasy gaming for football, basketball, baseball, kabaddi, and volleyball.