India has a new unicorn after Dream11, an online fantasy sports service, claimed its valuation has surpassed $1 billion following a new investment.
This isn’t your regular unicorn valuation deal. Instead, the company — which hosts cricket, NBA, soccer and other sports contests — crossed the milestone through a secondary sale that reportedly involves the transfer of a small amount of stock.
Dream11 said today that Steadview Capital purchased an undisclosed amount of shares from existing investors Kalaari Capital, Think Investments and Multiples Equity. India’s Economic Times reported that the deal is worth around $60 million and that it values Dream11 at $1 billion-$1.5 billion. If correct, that would represent a big jump on the $500 million valuation that the company reportedly landed last September when Chinese internet giant Tencent was said to have led a $100 million Series D.
Dream11 is somewhat secretive, having never publicly confirmed the size of its past investments. Steadview, meanwhile, is well-known as an early backer of Indian Uber rival Ola. The firm recently doubled down and invested a fresh $75 million into Ola’s new round, a deal that gave the company a valuation of $6 billion.
Founded in 2007, Dream11 taps the demand for fantasy sports in India, the world’s largest market for cricket which also has a strong soccer fanbase. Dream11 gamers pick their choice of the best players in an upcoming match. They can win cash prizes depending on how their selected team performs.
Dream11 said in a statement that it is targeting 100 million registered users by the end of the year. Right now, it claims to have “over 50 million.”
“We at Steadview believe that Dream11 is poised to become the leading sports company in India catering to everything a sports fan needs. We think very highly of the visionary founders and are excited to partner with the team in this journey. The company’s phenomenal growth track-record, dominant leadership in daily fantasy gaming and strong engagement metrics is a testament to the consumer love for the platform,” said Ravi Mehta, Steadview Capital managing director in a statement.