Mobile Premier League becomes India's second gaming unicorn with valuation of $2.3 bn

MPL valued at $2.3 bn – becomes India’s second gaming unicorn after Dream11


A lot changed & affected during & post the pandemic. One such example is Mobile Premier League becoming India’s second gaming unicorn by raising funds at a $2.3 billion valuation which successfully drove entertainment-starved consumers toward mobile playing & thereby amplifying its growth & popularity.

MPL raised capital from investors including Legatum Capital with participation from Accrete Capital and Gaingels LLC. Its existing investors – Moore Strategic Ventures LLC RTP Global also participated in the round. What MPL does is basically connecting game publishers with players on its application platform. It is accessible by the users in India, Indonesia and the US. It has dozens of free titles — ranging from sudoku, speed chess and puzzles to shooting, fantasy and strategy games and participate in gaming contests and prize money tournaments. Its aim is to attract enthusiasts looking to earn money and get famous by playing mobile games.

India is among the world’s largest markets for game downloads. While gaming companies in China are being affected by cracking down of the country, Indian companies are expanding their horizons across the world in the segment.

MPL founder Sai Srinivas Kiran, said in an interview that “Gaming is the only entertainment content where language is no barrier. “Gaming start-ups can transcend international boundaries.” Many Global investors such as Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, who also support India’s first gaming unicorn and MPL rival Dream11, are clearly observing the opportunity of the gaming segment & its demand across country’s 400 million gamers.

Born in the fall of 2018, MPL successfully hit 600,000 daily active users within three months. After just a few months post its inception, in the year 2019, the start-up nailed a big contract and became the broadcast partner for popular cricket competition Indian Premier League and roped in Indian Captain Virat Kohli as brand ambassador.

The pandemic which then posed a a setback for many companies across the world was fortunately a magic wand for MPL. Many gaming companies, along with streaming services and online retailers, turned out to be the biggest beneficiaries of lockdowns imposed during the pandemic.

The founder added that “The pandemic thrust India’s gaming industry forward by at least 2-3 years. Between March and the end of June — lockdown months in India — MPL was successful in tripling its users and revenue. Currently the gaming giant MPL has about 80 million users, of which about 10 million spend money on the service. The user count has reached 5 million in Indonesia, while in the U.S., where it launched in July, its target is 300,000 users and over $100 million in gross merchandise value by the end of the year.

The start-up plans to keep adding games and expand to more countries across the globe within three years. Its major focus will be laid on attracting viewers, with the goal of lowering the cost of acquiring new gamers.

Kiran said “Young India will make gaming so mainstream that one day soon gaming could become more popular than watching movies”.

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