Online gaming platform Mobile Premier League is in talks with existing and new investors to raise up to $150 million, said three people aware of the details of the deal, at a valuation steeply north of $1 billion and turning it into a unicorn.
Fantasy and e-sports have been catching on in India at a quick pace. As a result, investors are bullish on the segment and cutting large cheques with a hefty premium in valuation.
And after Dream11’s 2X jump in valuation within six months, MPL has now joined the race for the coveted club.
“The talks are on for the past few weeks with several existing investors including Composite Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures and SIG. New investors including DST Global are also in discussion,” said a person requesting anonymity.
However, talks with DST have not reached an advanced stage, the person added.
If the potential round materialises, it would be the third funding round for the two-and-a-half-year-old company in the past seven months. It had raised $95 million in February 2021 at a valuation of $945 million and $90 million in September 2020.
MPL also has Base Partners, RTP Global, SIG, Go-Ventures, Telstra Ventures, Founders Circle, Sequoia Capital and Play Ventures in its cap table.
“The new round will value MPL to the tune of $2 billion,” said the second source who also wished not to be named. “The round could go over $150 million as well and likely to have a secondary component.”
MPL, SIG, DST and Sequoia are yet to respond to our queries.
MPL works with third-party developers and then publishes their game on the platform where users can participate in skill-based games including cricket, puzzles, chess and crossword to win cash prizes. According to the company, it has grown to over 70 plus games and 7 million users.
On Tuesday, MPL announced the acquisition of New Delhi-based e-sports gaming platform GamingMonk.
Back to back rounds in Dream11 and MPL in the past six months show that the investors are excited about the prospect of these companies in the long haul.
Dream11 has raised $625 million in primary and secondary capital since October 2020. The two-year-old real money gaming platform Winzo Games has also raised over $28 million in equity and debt financing in the past six months.
According to a FICCI-EY report, the current online gamers base in India stands at 360 million and projected to cross the 500 million mark by 2025.