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Dream11 becomes India’s first gaming Unicorn, valued at $1.5 billion


Mumbai-based fantasy sports startup Dream11 executed a secondary share sale worth ₹420 crores ($60 million) approximately. Three existing investors including Kalaari Capital, Multiples Alternate Asset Management and Think Investments sold part of their stake to Steadview Capital in the deal.

Founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream11 offers its users fantasy gaming in categories such as cricket, football, kabaddi, and National Basketball Association (NBA). It claims to have 50 Mn users and enables them to showcase their sports knowledge through fantasy gaming.

Harsh Jain, CEO and co-founder, Dream11 said, “We are excited to welcome Steadview Capital onboard. Our exponential growth over the past few years would not have been possible without the support and trust of our investors and Dreamsters (employees). We will keep working hard and are targeting to end the year with 100 Mn users.”

The closure of the deal has doubled the valuation of the firm since its last funding in April 2018. At that time, Tencent invested ₹700 crores ($100 million) in the firm taking the startup’s valuation at ₹3,500 crores ($500 million). With this secondary transaction, the valuation jumped to ₹7,000-10,500 crores ($1-1.5 billion) (estimated).

Ravi Mehta, managing director, Steadview Capital, said, “We at Steadview believe that Dream11 is poised to become the leading sports company in India catering to everything a sports fan needs. We think very highly of the visionary founders and are excited to partner with the team in this journey. The company’s phenomenal growth track-record, dominant leadership in daily fantasy gaming and strong engagement metrics is a testament to the consumer love for the platform.”

The development shows tremendous growth in the company within a year. The firm witnessed a 260 per cent growth in its revenue to ₹228.4 crores while the losses were limited to only ₹65 crores. Steadview Capital believes that Dream11 has the potential to become a leader in its segment by catering to everything a sportsman needs.

The online gaming market in India was worth ₹2,030 crores ($290 million) in 2017 and is expected to touch the ₹7,000 crores ($1 billion) mark by 2021. There are several players utilizing the scope of the segment including Nazara Technologies, 99Games, Octro, Mobile Premier League (MPL) and Games2Win. India ranks among the top five countries for online and mobile gaming, according to a report by Flurry Analytics.

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