Bengaluru: Dream Sports has raised $840 million in a round that values the online fantasy gaming platform at $8 billion. The latest funding was led by Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, RedBird Capital, and Tiger Global. Existing investors TPG and Footpath Ventures also participated.Founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in 2008, the Mumbai-based company had earlier this year raised $400 million at a valuation of about $5 billion. Jain said their investors have deep experience in developing sports ecosystems globally.DST Global managing partner Rahul Mehta said, “We’re very impressed with their customer-centric approach, product strategy and ability to strengthen connections between fans and their favourite sports.” The platform has over 11 crore users playing fantasy cricket, football, kabaddi, basketball, hockey, and many other sports. Users create a virtual team of real-life players and earn points based on the performances of these players in real matches. Points can be converted into cash. The brand, which employs close to 1,000 people, has partnerships with national and international sports leagues and bodies, as well as over 20 reputed Indian and international cricketers. Dream Sports also has a venture arm called Dream Capital with a corpus of $250 million to invest in sports, gaming and fitness-tech startups in India. It has invested such companies as SoStronk, DreamGameStudios, Elevar, FanCode and DreamSetGo. Dream Sports wants to create one of the largest sports ecosystems that includes sports content, commerce, experiences, fan engagement (including sports gaming & e-sports), fantasy sports and fitness tech.ResearchAndMarkets.com’s data showed that the global gaming market was valued at $174 billion last year, and is expected to cross $314 billion by 2026, registering a compounded annual growth rate of 9.6% over 2021-2026. Recently, French fantasy football startup Sorare raised a $680-million round led by SoftBank, valuing the firm at $4.5 billion. On Sorare, players trade in digital collectibles.
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