Esports and skill gaming app Mobile Premier League (MPL) has become India’s latest startup unicorn, raising funds at a $2.3 billion valuation in Series E financing.
The investment round was led by Legatum Capital with participation from existing investors including Sequoia, SIG, RTP Global, Go-Ventures, Moore Strategic Ventures, Play Ventures, Base Partners, Telstra Ventures, and Founders Circle Capital. The size of the investment was not disclosed.
“This investment is a recognition of the potential of the Indian gaming and esports industry and an endorsement of the capability of MPL to expand globally. MPL’s proven success in India and Indonesia encouraged us to launch in the US, one of the world’s largest gaming markets. Our US operations are off to a promising start and we’re thus fulfilling our resolve to make our platform the esports and gaming hub of the world” said Sai Srinivas, co-founder, and chief executive officer, MPL.
The company plans to use the funds raised to finance its global expansion, invest in technology, and strengthen its footprint in the Indian market.
“We are seeing strong traction globally as a function of our direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach. Our platform strategy allows us to pool user liquidity, enable synchronous competitions, aggregate gaming content, and drive superior matchmaking, which all together enable best-in-class user retention and monetization. We’re thrilled to partner with Legatum Capital as we continue to work on our vision of building the world’s largest esports platform,” shared Joe Wadakethalakal, SVP, corporate development, MPL.
The Bengaluru-based startup was last valued at $945 million when it secured $95 million financings led by Composite Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures.
“Legatum is delighted to have led this latest round of funding for MPL as it continues its incredible growth trajectory and becomes the world’s leading esports and skill gaming platform. It is an honor to support Sai, Shubh, and the outstanding team at MPL and to join the other world-class investors in building a company that provides a top-class gaming experience for users, unmatched distribution for developers, and a commitment to building a company with the best global talent and a winning culture. Legatum’s investment in MPL is another example of our strategy to invest in world-class teams building world-scale companies that define categories and serve customers with integrity,” commented Mark Stoleson, chief executive officer, Legatum and new board member, MPL.
“We at Play Ventures have been very impressed by the speed that the MPL team is progressing with on their mission to bring competitive gaming worldwide. We have no doubt that their entry into the US market will further strengthen their position as the number one competitive gaming platform in the world,” explained Henrik Suuronen, founding partner, Play Ventures.
Earlier this year, MPL acquired esports firm Gaming Monk to develop a full suite of esports and live streaming capabilities. In early September the platform announced a partnership with the Play Magnus Group, founded by Chess superstar Magnus Carlsen. With this partnership, MPL will host the official Indian Circuit for players to qualify for the Meltwater Champion Chess Tour. This is the first-ever regional expansion for the Champion Chess Tour.
“It was clear to us from the beginning that MPL had the potential to become one of India’s major startup success stories. Sai, Shubh, and the team have taken the platform to new heights in 2021 and this next round of funding has secured MPL’s well-deserved status as a unicorn. We are delighted to be supporting the company with its next stage of growth. Congratulations to the team,” added Galina Chifina, partner, RTP Global.
MPL is the second gaming unicorn in the country. Rival Dream11 had secured a $400 million secondary funding round led by TCV, D1 Capital Partners, and Falcon Edge in March this year, valuing the company at around $5 billion.
India is currently the largest market for game downloads across the world with 840 million installs in June, according to app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.Internet Explorer Channel Network