MPL Becomes The Second Gaming App To Turn Unicorn In India


While esports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) did not offer details on the size of the fundraise, sources in the know said it had raised $150 million as the company’s valuation jumped 2.5 times compared to its previous funding round. The three-year-old startup was valued at $945 million in its Series D round, which it closed in February this year.

The Bangalore-based startup has raised capital from investors led by Legatum Capital with participation from Accrete Capital and Gaingels LLC. Existing investors including Moore Strategic Ventures LLC and RTP Global also participated in the round. The startup would not disclose the funding but people familiar with the deal said MPL had raised $150 million.

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, said the company in a press release.

Founded in 2018 by Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra, MPL claims to offer more than 70 games across various categories. It allows users to compete in various formats, including head-to-head matches or in tournament play for free or a small fee to earn cash. It claims to have over 85 million users in India, Indonesia and the United States. The gaming platform has over 800 employees across offices in Bengaluru, Pune, Jakarta, Singapore and New York.

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MPL recently began operations in the USA and completed two years of operations in Indonesia, making it the only mobile gaming platform from India with a growing international presence. 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.

MPL was born in the fall of 2018 and within three months hit 600,000 daily active users. The app launched just as affordable smartphones, cheap internet data, and reliable digital payment infrastructure were fueling the growth of mobile gaming. The startup’s early backers included Sequoia Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures; Kiran and Malhotra had previously founded and sold hardware startup Creo, helping them attract backers for MPL.

Earlier this year, MPL acquired eSports firm GamingMonk to develop a full suite of eSports and livestreaming capabilities. In early September, the platform announced a partnership with Play Magnus Group, founded by young chess genius Magnus Carlsen. With this partnership, MPL will host the official Indian circuit for players to qualify for the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. This is the first-ever regional expansion for the Champions Chess Tour.

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