MPL joins fundraising bandwagon, scoops up $90 mn from global investors

MPL joins fundraising bandwagon, scoops up $90 mn from global investors
MPL founders, Sai Srinivas (left) and Shubh Malhotra
21 Sep, 2020

As the gaming industry continues to witness increasing customer engagement amid the Covid-19 pandemic, mobile esports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) is the latest startup in the segment to join the fundraising bandwagon. 

MPL parent Galactus Funware Technology said on Monday that it has raised $90 million (Rs 657 crore) in a Series C funding round to accelerate growth. 

Pennsylvania headquartered private equity firm SIG, Moscow-based early stage technology investor RTP Global, the corporate venture capital unit of Indonesian telecom major Telkom Indonesia MDI Ventures, and Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Pegasus Tech Ventures led the round.

Returning investors Sequoia India; Go-Ventures, the venture capital firm run by unicorn Go-Jek; and Sao Paulo-based investment firm Base Partners participated in the round, a statement said.

The fresh capital, the Bengaluru-based startup said, will be used to expand its market share and product offerings, and to scale its team. Its product development will focus on social functions such as live streaming, and audio and video content features, it said.

“We invested in MPL at an early stage because we saw the team had the ability to become the dominant platform in the region's online gaming space. MPL’s growth over the past two years is a testament to the team’s vision and ability to realise this goal,” Galina Chifina, managing partner at RTP Global, the lead investor in this round, said.

The company claims to have grown over four fold in the past seven months, and with more than six crore users, it is currently the largest gaming platform in the country. The platform has recorded over two billion cash transactions to date.

The latest capital infusion takes the total investment in MPL to $130.5 million, the statement said.

The startup last raised capital in April 2019, when Sequoia India, Times Internet, GoVentures, RTP Global, Beenext, Base Growth and Venture Highway invested $35.5 million in the firm’s Series A funding round.

“This latest round of funding will enable us to entertain and connect an even larger audience across India and beyond. Being able to bring quality technology, competitive spirit and enjoyment to people in such an accessible way is what keeps us excited,” MPL co-founder Sai Srinivas Kiran G said.

Incorporated in September 2018 by Kiran and Shubham Malhotra, MPL offers esports, casual, fantasy and arcade games, such as Sudoku, Crosswords, Free Fire, Rummy or Quiz. Users can pick a tournament that suits their wallet -- each tournament runs for a certain duration and allows a specific number of players. Once the tournament results are announced, winners can cash out immediately via Paytm, UPI or a bank transfer, as per information on the company’s website. MPL has added over 70 games on the platform since its launch.

In 2019, the company acquired Pune-based software developer Crevise Technologies in a mixed cash and equity deal. The founders also launched Creo, the maker of the HDMI media streaming device Teewe, which was later acquired by messaging app Hike.

Just last week, MPL rival Dream11 raised $225 million from Tiger Global Management, TPG’s technology investment vehicle TPG Tech Adjacencies, ChrysCapital and Footpath Ventures.