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Almost a unicorn: Indian startup MPL raises $945M in Series D financing

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

We have already discussed that the video game market today is an attractive field for investors. The development of cloud-based gaming services, eSports tournaments, and grid-based games, along with the gradual decline in retail sales of media with games, has long begun to encourage players to move online, on mobile devices, and PCs. In turn, the number of technology game startups is growing.

The main market is still localized in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, the startup MPL (Mobile Premier League) is based in India and has raised $95 million at a valuation of almost a billion. Composite Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures are the lead investors of the deal. And what is interesting, the previous round was less than six months ago: the project raised $90 million at half of the current valuation.

The platform is only 2.5 years old, but it has already gathered 60 million users in India and 3.5 million in Indonesia. MPL does not develop its own games, they place third-party games: their number has reached 70 positions today.

The main feature and the idea of the platform are attracting users through cash payments for victories in tournaments. Sai Srinivas, the founder of the project, sees his goal not only to expand his presence in other geographical markets but also to introduce Indian-made games to the world and support talented players. Now cybersports in India are on the rise and this round of funding will help them focus on developing a robust gaming platform, says Mr. Srinivas.

Part of the platform's content is fantasy sports, which allowed the startup not to "go broke" during the lockdown and cancellation of offline tournaments. However, the app is not available on the App Store: 99% of cell phones in India run on Android, and Google has rather strict rules about fantasy sports and third-party app stores.


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