Sachin Tendulkar co-owned gaming and entertainment startup Smaaash has raised $14 million in equity financing. The funds were syndicated by Avendus Wealth Management Pvt Ltd, the wealth management arm of financial services firm Avendus Capital.
Last month, the sports-based entertainment company raised Rs 25 crore from consumer companies-focused investment firm Sixth Sense Ventures.
“In the current year with two back to back acquisitions, we have cemented our place as the player in the active entertainment space. The equity raise will only accelerate our growth plans to provide world-class sports and immersive experiences in India,” said Shripal Morakhia,founder of Smaaash.
Smaaash was started by Shripal Morakhia in 2012 with its first centre of over 40,000 sq. ft in Mumbai. Morakhia is also a founder of brokerage firm Sharekhan.
The company owns and operates sports-centric digital entertainment centres for games such as cricket, football, go-karting, bowling and a host of virtual games in cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Noida, and Bengaluru along with the US, China and the Middle East.
In India, Smaaash operates five gaming arcades, which offer a host of gaming options including famous international cricketers like former Australian spinner Shane Warne and former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.
Smaaash launched the concept in 2013 where algorithm-based techniques and signed up Christiano Ronaldo last year to develop football simulations based on the Portuguese football icon.
In September, the sports-based entertainment company raised Rs280 crore (approximately $44 million) through debt and equity. Prior to that, in August 2016, the company had raised Rs150 crore from Piramal Enterprises Ltd’s Structured Financing Group. Sports-focused investment firm Fidelis World through its first fund FW Sports Investment Fund LP invested Rs 65 crore in the startup in 2014.
Besides Tendulkar and Fidelis World, times group owner BCCL is also an investor in the sports startup.
The report was first published in ET.