Grapevine: MPL raises funding; IOC to monetise pipeline assets

Online gaming startup Galactus Funware Technology, which operates the Mobile Premier League (MPL), has raised close to $100 million (about Rs 730 crore) in a fresh financing round led by new investors Composite Capital, Moore Capital and Telstra Ventures, and participation from existing investors, at a valuation of close to $800 million (about Rs 5,835 crore). The development was reported by The Economic Times, which cited two people in the know.

MPL had raised $90 million (about Rs 650 crore) in a round in September 2020, welcoming new investors such as SIG Global, RTP Global, MDI Ventures and Pegasus Tech Ventures. At the time, it was valued at $450 million (about Rs 3,280 crore), almost half the valuation it is seeking in the current round.

MPL’s early investors include Sequoia India, Go-Ventures and Times Internet.

Sai Srinivas, co-founder and CEO of MPL, confirmed the fundraise and told The Economic Times that the valuation is a hair’s breadth shy of a billion dollars.

In another development, under the asset monetization plan announced in the Union budget, state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is looking to sell stakes in a couple of its vast network of crude oil and petroleum product pipelines in the country.

“An InvIT could be one model that we may look at, but we won’t sell 100%. We will remain the operator,” IOC director (finance) Sandeep Kumar Gupta said on a conference call with analysts and investors.

IOC operates a network of more than 14,600km of pipelines that are used to transport crude oil to refineries and fuel to consumption points.

The proceeds from the monetisation exercise would initially go towards boosting capital spending of projects such as one for producing hydrogen fuel, renewable energy ones or petrochemical plants, Gupta said.

GAIL too is planning to launch an InvIT of its two gas pipelines between Dahej and Bengaluru. GAIL owns and operates a natural gas pipeline network that spans 12,502km, mostly in the western, southern and northern parts of the country. It is building more pipelines in the eastern part.

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