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Gaming startup MPL joins unicorn club with $2.3 billion valuation

MPL plans to use the funds to finance global expansion, invest in technology and strengthen its footprint in India, the world’s largest market for game downloads with an estimated 840 million installs in June.

September 15, 2021 / 01:25 PM IST
Mobile Premier League was founded in: 2018

Mobile Premier League was founded in: 2018

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.

The company plans to use the funds raised to finance its global expansion, invest in technology and strengthen its footprint in the India market.

“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 CEO, MPL.

The Bengaluru-based startup was last valued at $945 million when it secured $95 million financing led by Composite Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures.

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"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" said Legatum CEO Mark Stoleson who has joined the company board.

Founded in 2018 by Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra, MPL claims to offer more than 70 games across various categories. It allows users to compete in various formats, including head-to-head matches or in tournament play for free or a small fee to earn cash. It claims to have over 85 million users in India, Indonesia and the United States. The gaming platform has over 800 employees across offices in Bengaluru, Pune, Jakarta, Singapore and New York. It also entered the US market in July.

In April, it also acquired New Delhi-based firm GamingMonk to expand its esports portfolio by launching Esports Arena that hosts fortnightly Esports tournaments in some of its marquee games such as Chess, WCC, and Pool among others.

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.
Vikas SN
first published: Sep 15, 2021 12:33 pm
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