Gaming start-up Mobile Premier League valued at $2.3 bn, joins unicorn club

Gaming start-up Mobile Premier League valued at .3 bn, joins unicorn club
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Mobile Premier League (MPL), Asia’s largest e-sports and skill gaming platform, said that it has raised its Series E round of financing led by Legatum Capital at a pre-money valuation of $2.3 billion. This has made it India’s second gaming unicorn or a startup valued at over $1 billion.

Bengaluru-based MPL recently began operations in the US and completed two years of operations in Indonesia, making it the only mobile gaming platform from India with a growing international presence. MPL currently has over 85 million registered users globally. It is endorsed by Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli and earlier this year signed Indonesian actor and internet celebrity Baim Wong as its brand ambassador in Indonesia.

The latest fundraise was led by Legatum Capital. Existing investors including Sequoia, SIG, RTP Global, Go-Ventures, Moore Strategic Ventures, Play Ventures, Base Partners, Telstra Ventures, and Founders Circle Capital also participated in the round. The firm didn’t disclose the funding but according to the sources, MPL raised $150 million.

“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,” said Sai Srinivas, co-founder and CEO, MPL. “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.”

In February, MPL was valued at $945 million after raising $95 million in a Series D round. Its valuation reached about $450 million after raising $90 million from investors, last year in September.

Investors such as Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital have backed India’s first gaming unicorn and MPL rival Dream11.

MPL will use the fresh infusion of capital to finance its global expansion, invest in its home-grown technology, and drive continued growth in the Indian market. MPL has offices in Pune, New Delhi, Jakarta, Singapore, and New York.

“We are seeing strong traction globally as a function of our direct to consumer approach,”said Joe Wadakethalakal, SVP, Corporate Development, MPL. “We’re thrilled to partner with Legatum Capital as we continue to work on our vision of building the world’s largest esports platform.”

Legatum CEO and new MPL board member, Mark Stoleson, said 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. “Legatum’s investment in MPL is another example of our strategy to invest in world-class teams building world-scale that define categories and serve customers with integrity.”

Henrik Suuronen, founding partner at Play Ventures said the organisation has 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 in the US market will further strengthen their position as the number one competitive gaming platform in the world,” said Suuronen.

Galina Chifina, Partner, RTP Global, said, “It was clear to us from the beginning that MPL had the potential to become one of India’s major start-up 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.”

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.

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