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Exclusive: Dream11 in talks to raise over $400 Mn at $8.5 Bn valuation

Dream Sports, the company that runs fantasy sports platform Dream11, is in talks to raise at least $400 million in a round with participation from both new and old investors, say two people familiar with the development. This round is expected to bump the company’s valuation to $8.5 billion, said one of the persons mentioned above — a massive jump from the $5 billion number it attained during the previous fundraise five months ago. 

“Dream11 has been in conversation with several new and existing backers to raise $400-600 million in a new round which is likely to be a pre-IPO one,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity. “The talks have moved beyond preliminary stage and may materialse in the next few weeks”

If this investment goes through, it would again be one of the largest investments in a fantasy sports platform in India and will make Dream11 – fourth-largest valued consumer internet firm after Byju’s, Paytm and Oyo.

Entrackr couldn’t verify the names of new investors. In response to Entrackr’s queries, a Dream Sports spokesperson said, “We don’t comment on speculation.”

Dream Sports last raised close to $400 million from investors such as TCV (an early investor in Netflix), D1 Capital Partners and Falcon Edge in March right before IPL. This was an entirely secondary round where some of the company’s early investors such as Multiples Alternate Asset Management and Kalaari Capital sold a part of their stake while China’s Tencent continued to hold on to its stake in the company, per a Times of India report.   

The current fundraise may also include a secondary round. “The potential round is likely to have a secondary component as Dream11 gets ready for a public listing in the US next year,” said another person who also wished not to be named as talks are private.

Dream11 will probably be the first consumer internet company to list in the US. A clutch of companies in India including Paytm, Nykaa and Policybazaar are set for stock exchange debuts. However, these companies have chosen India over listing abroad.

According to an ET report in April, the company was also weighing to raise $1.5 billion from public listing through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream Sports runs fantasy sports platform Dream11 which lets its users play fantasy games such as cricket, football, basketball, among others. In late 2020, following its fundraise of $225 million,  the company had given Jain a 3.3x raise in his salary, making him one of the highest-paid startup CEOs in the country. 

Dream Sports also launched a $250 million worth fund Dream Capital that will focus on investment as well as mergers & acquisitions in startups in sports, online gaming, and the fitness-tech space. It already made an investment in D2C sports brand Elevar.

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