Gaming-Esports startup MPL joins unicorn club at a valuation of $2.3B

Bengaluru-based Mobile gaming and esports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) has now joined a unicorn startup club after raising reportedly around $150 million in Series E funding round at a pre-money valuation of $2.3 billion.

The funding round was led by UAE-based private investment firm 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.

Prior to the current round, MPL had raised $95 million in its Series D round in February 2021, led by SIG, Go-Ventures, Base Partners, Moore Strategic Ventures, Play Ventures, among four others. At that time, the esports platform was valued at $945 million.

According to the statement, MPL will use the raised capital for global expansion, investing in its home-grown technology, and drive continued growth in the Indian market. In July 2021, the startup had started its operations in the US, and has a strong presence in Indonesia, making it India’s first mobile gaming startup with a global presence.

Founded in 2018 by Sai Srinivas and Shubham Malhotra, Galactus Funware Technology Pvt. Ltd., which operates MPL, an online skill-based mobile gaming platform that offers more than 60 real money games such as fantasy sports, rummy, poker, chess, ludo, carrom, Fantasy Cricket, etc. It also organizes gaming tournaments for professional players.

Currently, The platform has about 80 million users, of which about 10 million spend money on the service. In Indonesia, its registered users’ count has reached 5 million. For the US market, it is targeting 300,000 users and over $100 million in gross merchandise value by the end of the year.

“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,” said Sai Srinivas, Co-founder & CEO, MPL. 

“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,” said Mark Stoleson, Legatum CEO and new MPL board member.

“It is an honor to support Sai, Shubh, and the outstanding team at MPL, and to join the other world-class investors in building a company that provides a top-class gaming experience for users, unmatched distribution for developers, and a commitment to building a company with the best global talent and a winning culture,” he adds.

Earlier in April 2021, MPL had acquired GamingMonk to launch its own esports vertical named “Esports Arena”. Apart from MPL, CoinDCX, upGrad, Eruditus, BharatPe, Mindtickle, among others, also attained unicorn startup status.

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