Dream Capital, the corporate venture capital and acquisitions arm of Dream Sports Thursday said it has led a $120 million Series A funding round in cricket non-fungible token (NFT) platform Rario. This investment is the largest deal made by Dream Capital so far.
An NFT is a cryptographic asset on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguishes it from others.
According to a statement by Dream Sports, Alpha Wave Global, formerly Falcon Edge Capital, participated in the funding round.
The investment by Dream Capital will give Rario access to 140 million users of the former and help potentially create the largest cricket NFT platform globally, the statement said.
Singapore-based Rario - founded in 2021 by IIT Delhi alumni Ankit Wadhwa and Sunny Bhanot - helps cricket fans to engage as a community. The fans can own and trade digital collectibles across player cards, video moments and cricket artifacts. The company recently inked a multi-year exclusive partnership with Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association.
"Use of Web3 in sports is transformational and we are looking to back more start-ups in this space globally with innovative utilities of NFTs," said Dev Bajaj, Chief Strategy Officer, Dream Sports.
In August 2021, Dream Sports, which owns fantasy sports platform Dream11, made an initial allocation of $250 million for Dream Capital. The evergreen fund is financed from the balancesheet of Dream Sports.
The relatively large corpus of $250 million signalled the maturity of Indian unicorn start-ups that have reached a point to operate their own corporate venture arms or similar vehicles with a sizeable amount.
A unicorn is a privately-held start-up that has a valuation of over $1 billion.
Dream Capital aimed to make at least 15 early-stage bets and deploy a significant part of the present corpus in the next 12-24 months, it said in August last year.
Dream Capital's investments include e-sports platform SoStronk and sports footwear and equipment brand Elevar. It also executed the acquisition of video game developer Rolocule, which has been rebranded as DreamGameStudios.