Digital gaming startup Mobile Premier League (MPL) has raised $35.5 million (about Rs 250 crore) in a Series A round of funding led by venture capital and growth-equity investment firm Sequoia Capital.
Times Internet, GoVentures, RTP Global, BeeNext, Base Growth and Venture Highway also invested in this round, MPL said in a statement. The startup will use the funds to invest in its product and to acquire users in India.
“Competitive gaming in India will be mobile-first and MPL wants to be the platform of choice for the user,” said Sai Srinivas Karan, CEO of MPL.
Operated by Galactus Funware Technology Pvt. Ltd, MPL runs a gaming platform where users compete in live tournaments for skill-based mobile games to win money.
"With their industry-leading growth and engagement metrics, MPL has the potential to become a major mobile internet company in India," said Shailendra Singh, MD at Sequoia Capital.
MPL allows users to choose a game of their choice such as Sudoku, Crosswords or Brick Breaker and then pick a tournament which suits their wallet. Each tournament runs for a certain duration and has a specific number of users who can play it.
Once the results are announced for a tournament, winners can cash out immediately with Paytm, Unified Payments Interface or bank transfer, according to the company’s website.
Deals in the gaming segment
The rise of digital gaming’s popularity in India is thanks largely to the widespread use of smartphones. Many game developers are capitalising on rising smartphone usage to build their businesses, and some have scaled rapidly and attracted marquee investors.
Earlier this month, Dream11 Fantasy Pvt. Ltd became the first gaming unicorn in India after Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital completed investment in the fantasy sports platform through a secondary share purchase. Renuka Ramnath-led private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management and venture capital firm Kalaari Capital are likely to have earned robust returns through a partial exit from the company.
Last month, Mumbai-based fantasy sports startup HalaPlay Technologies Pvt. Ltd said it raised Rs 40 crore ($5 million) in a Series A round from mobile game developer Nazara Technologies Ltd and casino gaming company Delta Corp Ltd.
Last year, Nazara acquired a 55% stake in Gurgaon-based e-sports platform NODWIN Gaming.