The Mobile Premier League (MPL) has raised $ 90 million in a new round of funding as the Bangalore-based two-year esports and mobile gaming platform is growing rapidly and plans to expand outside of India.
SIG, Early-stage tech investor RTP Global, and MDI Ventures led MPL’s $ 90 million Series C financing round, with participation from existing investors Sequoia India, Go-Ventures and Base Partners. Times Internet and actor Salman Khan are also early investors in MPL. The new investment brings MPL̵
MPL operates a pure gaming platform on which a number of tournaments take place. The app, which has amassed over 60 million users, also serves as a publishing platform for other game companies. MPL, which doesn’t develop its own games, now hosts around 70 games in different sports on the app.
The Bangalore-based startup also offers fantasy sports, a segment that has gained a foothold in many parts of India in recent years.
With fantasy sports only being part of the business, the coronavirus outbreak that has killed most of the real-world games hasn’t hampered the startup’s growth in recent months. The startup said it has grown four times since March this year, and to date, more than 2 billion cash transactions have been recorded on the app.
“We’re competing with battle-hardened, ten-year-old companies with much, much deeper pockets, but it’s incredible what the young team has achieved in recent years. When we were on the Play Store a few years ago, MPL was the fastest app to ever get a 1M DAU in India! “Tweeted Abhishek Madhavan, SVP Marketing at MPL. “We signed Virat Kohli (see picture above) when we were a 3 month old company! When we left the Play Store we were told that growth was going to be very, very hard to come by, every single marketing metric was going to fall. “
Sai Srinivas, co-founder and executive director of the Mobile Premier League, told TechCrunch in an interview that the new round of funding confirms that the sport will stay here and the e-commerce moment begins.
“I think esport was introduced by the Olympics much earlier than cricket. And the sport’s market cap will most likely outperform all physical sports in the next 10 years, ”he said.
“Even in an environment as challenging as this one, we are impressed with the success and accessibility of the platform concept, which offers users a unique variety of experiences and social interactions. MPL’s track record speaks for itself. We look forward to helping the team grow and expand, ”said Galina Chifina, Managing Partner at RTP Global, in a statement.
However, since one aspect of MPL is about fantasy sports, the app is not available on the Google Play Store. The Google Play Store bans online casinos and other types of betting, a policy Google reiterated last week when it pulled Indian financial services platform Paytm from the App Store for eight hours. Srinivas declined to comment on Google and Paytm Episode.
The startup plans to expand outside of India in the following months, Srinivas said. He didn’t name the new markets, but suggested that India’s neighbors as well as Japan and South Korea are likely to be part of it.
The startup also plans to expand its games catalog and offer more marketing support to third-party developers who are currently either selling licenses to MPL or entering into a revenue-sharing agreement with the Indian startup.