Source: Flickr user warrenski // CC 2.0 License

Esports are soaring, becoming one of those select few industries to have benefitted heavily from the lockdown forced by the pandemic. The Indian esports is no exception, and is now seeing an uptick in investor activity. Days after Dream11 turned into a unicorn, Bangalore-based esports app Mobile Premier League (MPL) is also upping its game and has grabbed $90 million in its Series C funding led by SIG, RTP Global and MDI Ventures.

This brings MPL’s total to date raise to $130.5 million. Its existing investors, Sequoia India, Go-Ventures, and Base Partners also participated in the financing round. Indian actor Salman Khan and Times Internet are the early investors in the firm.

Co-founder and CEO of Mobile Premier League, Sai Srinivas told TechCrunch in an interview that the new funds prove esports is alive and active in India and it is starting to witness an ‘e-commerce moment’. He added, “I believe that esports will be inducted by the Olympics way before than cricket does. And the market cap of esports will most probably exceed those of all physical sports combined in the next 10 years”.

Galina Chifina, Managing Partner at RTP Global said in a statement, ““Even in an environment as challenging as the current one, we are impressed with the success and accessibility of the platform concept – giving users a unique variety of experiences and social interaction. MPL’s track record speaks for itself, so we’re excited to support the team as they grow and expand.”

MPL aims to use these funds to expand outside India, without. Srinivas suggests that the first additions could be neighbouring countries around India, including South Korea and Japan. The gaming platform looks forward to growing catalog and offer many more gaming options to its users.

MPL is an esports platform operated by its parent company Galactus Funware Technology Pvt. Ltd. based in Bengaluru. It hosts tournaments of various games that are available in its catalog, allowing users to participate in real time to win real money. To date, MPL offers games like Free Fire, Poker, Chess, Quiz, Fruit Chop, 8 ball 3D Pool, Carrom and fantasy sports. However, the app is currently not available on Google Play Store due to its strict reservations against apps that promote gambling and betting.

Live sporting events have largely been absent from the scene due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the mult-billion Indian Premier League finally underway in closed stands, MPL, Dream11 and the likes are set to witness a huge growth in its Fantasy Cricket offerings. Various other fantasy sports apps have also garnered some huge investments in recent times, such as IPL’s title sponsor itself, Dream11 raised $225 million at a massive valuation of $2.5 billion.