Sports tech firm Dream Sports, which owns the online fantasy platform Dream11, has closed a $840 million funding round led by Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, Redbird Capital and Tiger Global. The round also saw participation from existing investors TPG and Footpath Ventures. The round values the firm at $8 billion, up from $5 billion in March this year when it raised $400 million in secondary financing.
Founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream Sports houses brands such as sports content and commerce platform FanCode, its corporate venture and M&A arm Dream Capital, sports experiences platform DreamSetGo, game publisher Dream Game Studios, and payment solutions provider DreamPay, apart from Dream11. It claims to have a user base of over 140 million users and employs close to 1,000 people. Earlier this year, Dream Sports had announced a sum of $250 million through its CVC and M&A arm, Dream Capital.
The Initial portfolio started from scratch of 10 early-stage startups including Fittr, SoStronk, KheloMore and Elevar and now plans to expand its sports, fan engagement and fitness portfolio in India and across the world.
“Our vision and mission is to create an entrepreneur-led virtuous cycle of investment, innovation, and wealth creation for all stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from fans to athletes, teams, and leagues. Our investors have deep experience in developing sports ecosystems globally, and we are fortunate to have their guidance to ‘Make Sports Better’ for 1 billion Indian sports fans,” said Dream Sports Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Harsh Jain as reported by ET.
Dream Sports posted a profit of Rs 180.8 crore for the FY 2020, making it one of the rare consumer-focused startup unicorns in India to register a profit. The company's operational revenue jumped from Rs 775.5 crore in FY19 to Rs 2,070.4 crore in FY20.
In an interview to ET previously, Jain had said, “We have one good core business which has market leadership in its area. Now, we want to go and build the YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps of sports. We want to build an Alphabet-like entity, not just Google Search.” Alphabet Inc is Google’s parent company.
However, it hit a speedbump in Karnataka where both the co-founders are facing a police case over the continued operations of its platform, even after the passing of the gambling bill on October 5. Dream11 said the law did not apply to members of the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), a self-regulatory industry body for fantasy sports, since the format “has been upheld by the courts of India as not amounting to gambling, betting or wagering”.