There are a handful of digital tech industries that have benefitted immensly from the lockdowns, work from home orders and stay-at-home directives. Online gaming and fantasy sports is one such area. Dream11, India’s top fantasy sports app, has milked those benefits to the optimum, and has hence secured $225Mn in a fresh round, valuing the company at close to $2.5Bn.
Add to the pandemic, an Indian Premier League season that is finally happening. And that kind of clubs together all the reasons there are, for a soaring valuation of Dream 11’s parent. Coincidentally, IPL — the world’s most valued cricket tournament and a league that has catapulted among the most valued globally in just a decade, will see Dream 11 being the title sponsor for this season.
The $225 million come in from Tiger Global Management, Tech Adjacencies, ChrysCapital and Footpath Ventures through primary and secondary investments. Avendus Capital acted as the financial advisor for this transaction.
Now, Dream Sports — Dream 11’s parent — sits on a cash mountain, which it might soon need to tap into, especially since being the title sponsor of IPL does not come cheap. For this honor, Dream 11 had to bid $30 million, after the rights got snatched away from Vivo-the previous title sponsor, due to rising tensions between India and China.
Moreover, the platform’s fantasy cricket league feature does not see more traffic during any other time of the year that the IPL. IPL season is a goldmine for platforms like Dream 11, Mobile Premier League and others, and seeing how the former isn’t available on Google Play Store, a title sponsorship will go a long way towards reaching more users.
As of yet, the platform has had 100 million users, who can pick their own team of 11 players (hence the name-Dream 11) and win money depending upon how their team fairs in comparison to others.
“As a homegrown Indian company, we are proud to continue adding value to our 10 crore Indian sports fans, investors, employees and the overall sports ecosystem in India. In the last two years, we have grown beyond fantasy sports to sports content, merchandise, streaming, experiences, and there is much more to come. Our vision is to ‘Make Sports Better’ for India and Indian fans through sports technology and innovation,” said Harsh Jain, chief executive and co-founder of Dream Sports.
Earlier this year, Dream11’s parent had added “digital streaming of sports as well as organising and ticketing of sports events” to its main business objectives.